PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — Congratulations to Rachael Wyman, a sixth grade teacher at Bay Trail Middle School in Penfield.

She was nominated for the Golden Apple Award by one of her students from last year. She has left a lasting impression on many of her students. In the morning, before the school day even starts, many former students stop by Mrs. Wyman’s room just to say “hi.”

“I know when kids walk off the bus in the morning her room is one of those places they want to go to just to feel safe and supportive at school,” said House B Principal John Burke.

“Early in the morning I do and a lot of my friends come too because everyone likes her,” says student Domenick Fantigrossi. He had Mrs. Wyman for English last year and decided to nominate her for a Golden Apple Award.

“She makes things fun in class and when I am down she is a person I can go to and I trust her with a lot of stuff,” he adds.

Fantigrossi helped News 8 surprise Wyman with the award.

“It’s really a great thing to be able to connect with kids and to see them grow through their years at Bay Trail so I still get to see Dom and a few other students every single day in the mornings so they start my day off the right way too so it’s awesome,” said Wyman.

Being in the classroom hasn’t always been easy for Mrs. Wyman. Back in 2018 she suffered from severe headaches and had to take a break from teaching. It was then doctors discovered a condition that required brain surgery.

“Basically the size of my brain and size of my skull don’t really work together very well. So I had to have a portion of my skull removed to make some more space. And, it’s been an interesting recovery. I still do struggle with headaches and other mild symptoms but it’s a surgery that gave me some of my life back and my ability to be back in the classroom which is something I am really passionate about,” said Wyman.

She still has mild symptoms, like forgetting words on occasion, but her students help her through it in the same way she helps them.

“They’ve actually turned it into a little game where they try and guess the word that I am struggling to remember in the moment and it’s actually something that could be very isolating for me but it’s something that brings some humor and levity to the situation,” said Wyman.

Mrs. Wyman has been a teacher in Penfield for 13 years and it runs in her family. Her mother and grandmother were also both Penfield teachers and so is her sister-in-law.