It’s the start of the 33rd year of JET 24 and Penn West Edinboro University honoring local school teachers with the Golden Apple Award and our first Golden Apple winner of the school year teaches in Warren County.

Jonathon Sitler is very familiar with the Golden Apple Award. He teaches english language arts at Beaty Warren Middle School.

“I’ve seen it many many times, I’ve seen it presented, I love the videos, I love how the teachers react,” said Jonathon Sitler, Golden Apple Award winner.

But after just a few years of teaching, never did he think he would be nominated.

“I was completely caught off guard. When she asked me to turn the video off for a second, I thought maybe I was in trouble,” Sitler added.

Sitler was a journalist for most of his career before a call from the school superintendent during the pandemic convinced him to change careers. This award is important for what it represents.

“You’re important to them in some way, you’re helping with their development in some way. Really, that’s why I enjoy teaching,” he continued.

This week’s student nominator wrote: “I know he believes in me because of not only what he says, but how he supports me.”

“I think we just bonded and connected pretty easily, because we have a lot in common I would say,” said Broc Bryan, student nominator.

“Not only what they say but what they do in those classrooms definitely impacts the well-being and success of every student in those classrooms,” said Mary Jo Melvin, PhD, Penn West University.

Something new this year, Big Ideas Learning is presenting each Golden Apple Award winner with a cash donation for their classroom.

“We’re about education, and being able to give these teachers a little extra when it comes to this award with the $250 check is something we are thrilled to be a part of,” said Jill McCormick, Big Ideas Learning.

Congratulations Jonathon Sitler, this week’s JET 24 Penn West University’s Golden Apple Award winner!