CHILI, N.Y. (WROC) — Congratulations to Maureen Conley, a Kindergarten teacher at Paul Rd. School in the Gates-Chili School District. Conley was nominated for the Golden Apple Award by 6 of her current and former students and their families.

When those students were asked to describe their teacher in one word, they excitedly threw out: kind, wonderful, beautiful, funny, beautiful, great, beautiful, and nice.

For 32 years Ms. Conley has been teaching some of the youngest students in school. She’s retiring at the end of this school year.

“She is just one of those teachers that is just dedicated to her craft as well as students and families,” Paul Road Principal Andraya Cutaia said about Conley.

When News 8 surprised her with the award, she was shocked and very thankful. The students had homemade cards and flowers, each saying thanks in their own way.

“Hi guys! Oh, this is so sweet,” Conley said.

Nicole Carroll was one of the parents that nominated Conley for the award.

“I was super nervous about my son going to Kindergarten,” Carroll said. “She was so supportive, she communicated awesome. She loves the kids, you can tell.”

Toni Pagano also nominated Conley. “She really went above and beyond and put in a lot of effort to keep [my son] where he wanted to be — and he is doing fantastic.”

Conley said that her passion for teaching started when she was young. Her mom and aunt were both teachers, and she wanted to change lives, just like they did.

“I’m glad to be finishing up in Kindergarten.” Conley said. “Because there is nothing like seeing this age group grow and develop.”