Gates Chili, N.Y. (WROC) — Congratulations to this week’s Golden Apple recipient — Katie Manges! 

Mrs. Manges has taught Family and Consumer Science, or FACS, at Gates Chili High School for three years. She took the job after being a hair dresser for more than a decade, saying preparing kids for the future was her “wheelhouse.”

“We’re trying to give the students skills to be able to survive outside of these walls,” Manges said. “So we do all kinds of things, not only cooking, but they have to learn how to collaborate and think for themselves.”

Principal Ken Hammel said one of Manges’ strengths is creating a culture of learning, while also bringing relevance to what she’s teaching. 

“She knows that these kids are going to go on later in life, and they’re going to need some of these skills to live independently or survive college making more than just ramen noodles, and she just does a great job of really connecting with the kids,” Hammel said. 

Though she teaches a lot in her class, a big part of Manges’ lessons revolve around teaching kids how to cook, something 10th grader Mercedes Taylor loves. 

“She’s an amazing cook. Her food is amazing,” Taylor said. “We make basically a lot of things. We had Cupcake Wars and everything, and we just challenge our classmates and we get awards for it.”

But, it’s not just the food that Mrs. Manges bakes that is sweet. Her relationships with her students are too. 

“She’s like one of my favorite teachers and I just love the way she carries herself,” Taylor said. “She’s just amazing.”

Taylor adds Manges encourages her to be a better person. 

“I will tell her some things and I will get mad, and she will be like, ‘Mercedes, was that a smart decision?’ And I’d be like, ‘No, you’re right. It’s not a smart decision.’ So she just leads me in the right way and I just love that about her,” Taylor said. 

For all Manges does for her students, Mercedes thought she’d give her favorite teacher something in return. She nominated her for a Golden Apple Award.

“I nominated her because she’s an amazing teacher and she’s like my school mom because she helps me out with my problems,” Taylor said. 

Hummel said the nomination speaks loudly about the relationships Mrs. Manges has made with her students at Gates Chili.

“She is just a genuine person and I think right from the minute kids walk into her class, she knows she’s there for them and is there to support them through this learning,” Hummel said.

For Manges, the award was a welcomed surprise, but one she wasn’t expecting. 

“Oh my, I’m like floored,” Manges said. “It’s awesome. It’s so special. Thank you so much.”

Congratulations to Mrs. Manges! Thanks for all you do for the community. 

If you know a teacher you’d like to nominate with a Golden Apple Award, you can find nomination forms here.