An amazing teacher in Saegertown is this week’s Golden Apple Award winner.

Mr. Justin Hayes wears many hats at Saegertown Junior-Senior High School. He teaches government, psychology, and coordinates English as a second language class.

In all that he does, Hayes connects with students in fun and exciting ways that engages them, especially when sharing personal stories.

“Connecting real life stories to them and relating to family dynamics they may experience is a great way to make connections to the students,” said Justin Hayes, Golden Apple Winner.

Those successful connections don’t really have much to do with the lesson of the day.

“They don’t care what you know until they know that you care and that’s really something I try to establish with all my classes in my teaching career. I care about all of them. I genuinely want them all to be successful and I think that will pay dividends later on,” Hayes said.

Two student nominators feel Mr. Hayes has an astounding personality and is very accommodating to his students.

“We’re not just doing bookwork, we’re out of seats and we’re learning material in different ways. He has personal anecdotes that have us connect to the lesson,” said Hazel Peel, Student Nominator.

“He’s just a really good guy. He just deserves an award for how much he cares about his students,” said Lynna Brenizer, Student Nominator.

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“Mr. Hayes creates a learning environment that’s full of excitement and laughter. Clearly, that’s how the students learn best,” said Dr. Erinn Lake, Dean at Edinboro University.

Congratulations to Justin Hayes. He is this week’s JET 24 and Edinboro University Golden Apple Award winner.