When you have eight or nine teachers in your family, there’s a good chance teaching is in your future, too. How you set yourself apart is by winning a Golden Apple Award.

Lou Baxter says that’s exactly what one Wattsburg teacher has done.

Lauren Zamperini is a third grade teacher at the Wattsburg Area Elementary Center.

She’s been teaching for nine years and comes from a family of educators.

While the profession of education is in her DNA, her passion is helping children grow and learn, especially the rowdy, sassy ones.

“I know how I was as a student, I was very rowdy and I moved around a lot. I feel like these kids need someone who can be okay with that as well,” said Lauren Zamperini, Golden Apple winner.

This week’s student nominator says Zamperini is “very funny, kind, and loving to all students.” And she says “once you are my kid, you are always my kid.”

“Kids won’t learn if they don’t like their teachers. So you need to make them feel heard, you need to make them feel liked and that they want to be here. If they want to be here, I want to be here. No one wants to go to work grumpy. So the better you can make them feel, the better it makes me feel,” said Zamperini.

Honoring her teacher with a Golden Apple was an emotional experience for student nominator Julia Jewell.

“Kind of happy tears today, huh?  So tell me why this is so happy for you?”

“Because she is one of my favorite teachers…so many fun activities,” said Julia Jewell, student nominator.

“Once you’re my kid, you’re always my kid. I just thought to my self, regardless how old we are, we all want to belong and we all want to be special to someone,” said Dr. Mary Jo Melvin, PennWest University.

Congratulations Miss Lauren Zamparini, this week’s JET 24 PennWest University Golden Apple Award winner.