Sports heroes can make a difference in a young persons life and so can a good school teacher. That’s the lesson in this week’s Golden Apple report.

Northwestern High School teacher Julia Shipton has always wanted to be a Golden Apple Award winner.

“I’m from Erie County, went to General McLane. I’ve seen many of these presented to my teachers over the years, and one of my goals was to be a Golden Apple winner. What’s it mean? It means that you mean something too your kids. You made an impact on somebody’s life and that’s always the goal as a teacher. So, the fact one of my kids was willing to put that into words an apply for this, means a lot to me,” said Julia Shipton, Golden Apple Award winner.

Shipton became a math teacher nine years ago, because her sports hero was a math professor.

“Courtney Nagle at Penn State Behred was an Edinboro basketball player and one of my idols growing up, being a basketball player myself. She was a math professor there and I wanted to be just like her growing up,” Shipton said.

Now, Shipton is influencing a new generation of students herself, like Brooke Miller, who said Ms. Shipton picked her up at one of the lowest points in her life

“It just made me feel loved and cared about, and i knew i had someone here, school isn’t always easy all the time, and she makes it easier because no matter what kind of day I’m having, I can always go to her and talk to her about it,” said Brooke Miller, student nominator.

“She knows she can come to me at all times to talk about whatever she needs to talk about. I’m a safe person for her to talk to,” Shipton said.

“She took Brooke when she was at her lowest point, she talked with her, she listened, she consoled and hopefully Brooke will remember this and someday be there for someone they way Ms. Shipton was there for her,” said Mary Jo Melvin, PhD, PennWest University.

Each Golden Apple Award winner recieves $250 for their classroom from Big Ideas Learning.

“When we heard Ms. Shipton was a math teacher, we were verfy excited. But to also learn that Courtney Nagle, who works at Big Ideas Learning, was her inspiration to become a math teacher, makes this even more special,” said Jill McCormick of Big Ideas Learning.

Congratulations Julia Shipton, this week’s JET24 PennWest Edinboro Golden Apple Award winner.