Irondequoit, N.Y. (WROC)— Congratulations to Mrs. Jamie Willman, our latest Golden Apple Award winner.

Willman is a 1st Grade teacher at Southlawn Elementary School in the West Irondequoit School District.

Principal Gayle Pavone says, “Mrs. Willman is incredible.  She’s one of our 1st grade teachers here at Southlawn.  She is so engaged with her students and does so many incredible, fun activities.  She has families come in to read and just builds a great relationship with all of her students and parents.”

Even though she’s a busy mom herself, Mrs. Willman puts in the extra hours to make sure her students are well taken care of.  The Horowitz family nominated her for the Golden Apple Award after their oldest son had her for a teacher last year and this year his younger brother is in her class. 

“She’s really invested in the kids and their relationships.  She follows up, celebrates your kid’s achievements as if they are her own.  So that’s why we just love her. She stands out above everybody,” says Brittany Horowitz.

This is Mrs. Willman’s 13th year teaching.  She loves working with the little ones.  

“First grade has been such a rewarding grade to teach because they come in so young and ready and ambitious to learn and then by the end of the year it’s amazing to see the growth that they make,” Willman says.

She says she always wanted to work with children after watching her mother care for young children and having some great role models to follow.   

“I’ve had some really phenomenal teachers in my life and since I’ve been young, I’ve really wanted to be a teacher,” says Willman.

And there’s a good chance, that someday some of these students will want to follow in the footsteps of their 1st grade teacher. 

Willman adds, “Every day is completely different and just feeling like you’re making a difference in every kid’s life and they really make a difference in my life too.  Every day has been a joy in coming in and seeing how much they learn and grow.”