ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — This week’s Golden Apple Award winner is a music teacher at the World of Inquiry School #58 in the Rochester City School District. 

Benjamin Rybolt spends most of his day teaching music inside the Joe Bonamassa Music room.   

“Whatever is needed, he is one to step up to make sure we have it,” Kwame Donko-Hanson, the Principal of WOIS School #58, said. “He is a passionate musician, and he teaches music to our scholars and has been a great member of our crew since he joined us.”

Rybolt was nominated for the Golden Apple Award by Joyce Palumbo who worked with him on fundraisers that helped purchase new instruments for the school. They raised $10,000 for new equipment. “He said it was a game changer for his students and that really touched me,” says Palumbo.   

When News 8 surprised Rybolt with the Golden Apple Award he said, “It makes me feel great. I love being here, I love having a great room, I love working with the students.”

The students appreciate the fact that their teacher went above and beyond to make sure they sound great.

“He’s really great,” junior Devin Russell said. “It’s a positive environment for people who really like art.”

Diane Miller, The Marketing V.P at Advantage Federal Credit Union, works with Palumbo and came along to see the surprise. She is proud that AFCU is able to sponsor the award and give it to someone like Ben. 

“It’s just amazing to see because the teachers have gone through so much, especially the past few years.”