Golden Apple: Leslie Durante

Golden Apple Award

The tiny community of Lawrence Park Township is where we find this week’s Golden Apple Award winning teacher.

Here is how a would be engineer became a meaningful teacher.

Miss Leslie Durante teaches fifth grade math and science at Iroquois Elementary School.

The one time engineering major at Penn State Behrend had a change of heart.

“And I asked myself three things, who are my role models, what do I like doing, and what setting do I want to be in? My role model was a math teacher and enjoyed math and I kind of wanted to work in a school. So I fell flat on my face sophomore year and ended up teaching math,” said Leslie Durante, Golden Apple Award Winner.

This week’s student nominator feels blessed to have this teacher for math.

“I really didn’t like science and math because I really struggled. When I had her she made me have more fun realize I’m really good at it,” Lacey Crotty, Student Nominator.

Miss Durante doesn’t always wear a Hawaiian shirt and sun glasses in school, but when she does, it’s blue day here which represents the fun she and her students have in the classroom.

“We have a climate in our classroom where we aren’t afraid to raise our hand and ask questions and when they get something right and find success, it’s infectious, and just seeing that over and over again is incredibly rewarding,” said Durante.

“You know this teacher says it is okay to be confused. It is okay to ask questions, and it is okay to make mistakes. The more I thought about that you know not only is she teaching academics, she’s teaching life,” said Mary Jo Melvin, PHD, Edinboro University.

Congratulations Miss Durante, this week’s JET 24 Edinboro University Golden Apple Award winner.

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