Golden Apple Award: Theresa Hanna

Golden Apple

Many are feeling overwhelmed and anxious lately while trying to navigate the unknown during a pandemic — and imagine how children are feeling.

One local teacher is working extra hard to make sure her students are keeping it together during the pandemic.

“We love you miss Hanna!” A message from third graders at St. Joseph’s in Penfield to their teacher, Miss Theresa Hanna.

They appreciate her creative assignment lately — assignments like growing bean plants are not only a learning opportunity but a welcome distraction.

“Miss Hanna makes us feel so special. We are lucky to have her. We miss her so much,” 9-year-old Tommy Pipa said. Parents say Hanna’s lessons are helping kids like Tommy stay focused during this pandemic.

“I love miss hanna because she is so kind, patient and understanding. She tells us to never give up and she never gives up on us,” another student, Anna Bellavia said.

Parents are appreciative of that encouragement, especially now and that’s why they nominated her for a Golden Apple Award. We called her with the good news during a parade honoring teachers.

Hanna has been teaching for 32 years. Her most important lesson? “I hope they learn from me how to be kind to each other. How to pay it forward and how to make the best use of their own tools,” Hanna said. “I have learned how to embrace technology as away of reaching out. You have to keep your wheels of motion going in your head so you have to think through the child’s eyes.”

Eyes that for now she’ll continue to look at through a camera and appreciate in person even more when kids are allowed to come back to the classroom. 

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