Jennifer Marren, Penfield High School

This is our final News 8 Golden Apple surprise of the school year. We want you to meet Jennifer Marren. This Penfield High School Teacher exemplifies what true love really is, when you put others before yourself.

Those who know Penfield High School Social Studies Teacher Jennifer Marren aren't surprised by what she did.

Principal Tom Putnam says "She puts her heart and soul into everything he does and I think Josh's story is a great example of that."

Last year Josh Carruba and his family lost their home. "She showed me a lot of sympathy with my situation I was in at the current time. Which was having an issue with attending school. Because I had no home really. So I had a lot of mental issues. So she really saw through that and helped me."

Josh says Mrs. Marren didn't give up on him even when he gave up on himself. "I really just wanted to thank her for that because that was a true kindness.

Josh wanted Mrs. Marren to have a Golden Apple Award. She was definitely surprised.

"She's sort of a testament to mutual respect and the power of mutual respect: says Putnam. "She doesn't require respect from the students she earns that respect because she treats them with respect."

What makes Jennifer's kindness more amazing is last year she had a secret. She kept a cancer diagnosis private and still put her students first.

"It made it easier to do that" says Jennifer. "They made it easier to get through it."

The good news is today she's healthy. Not once did she expect a thank you. "It's not the kind of job where it necessarily comes back. You don't necessarily get a thank you. So to get that is really very touching and very unusual. And I do it everyday anyway, not for this. So I'm really touched. Overwhelmed."

And why does Mrs. Marren like her job so much? "Because of kids like Josh."

Jennifer Marren is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. If you look below you can read the letter Josh wrote to us nominating her.

Dear News 8,

Last year, I was a sophomore with failing grades. I had just been evicted from my home, and was staying with my grandmother in Irondequoit. I had just witnessed my grandfather die in front of me, which caused a great deal of depression within me. This depression caused me great turmoil, which translated into a lapse of attendance at Penfield High School, so great that my counselor and principal had all but given up on me.

History was my first period class, the one I missed the most class time. My teacher, Mrs. Marren understood that it was incredibly important that I pass her class and move on to the eleventh grade. She worked out a plan with me that focused mainly on the present, not the past, where I had missed a great deal of school. With her ability to look beyond the bad, and help a student such as myself pass a core class, I am forever grateful.

More recently, Mrs. Marren has had a battle with breast cancer, causing her to be out for 1 month. She came back though, without taking any more time than was necessary to recover. My teacher, one of the most dedicated I know, battled cancer, and still came back as fast as she could. She is a strong woman, one everyone should look up to, Mrs. Marren deserves to be recognized for her dedication to her students, and her genuine kindness. For this, I nominate Jennifer Marren for a Golden Apple Award.


Joshua Carruba, Penfield High School

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