ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Congratulations to Tara Giordano, this week’s Golden Apple Award winner!
Giordano has been teaching for 18 years and has spent the last 6 working as a physical education teacher at Autumn Lane Elementary School in the Greece Central School District. Her staff and students say Giordano is one of the best.
“Everyone that walks into this school, kids and staff, end up being better people because of her,” said Chelsea Reisse, a Special Education teacher at Autumn Lane Elementary.
Reisse nominated Giordano for the award because she said she gives so much to her students.
“We have six special education classrooms here at Autumn Lane and she goes above and beyond and is super dedicated to all of our kids. She has come into the room, seen life kind of from their perspective, and changes the environment constantly to make them achieve everything. And on top of that, she does that with every kid that comes into the building,” Reisse said.
Reisse said Giordano specifically made things more fun for students who had to learn remotely during the pandemic, making at-home bags so they had equipment at home to participate in PE class. Giordano also reinvented a Special Olympics event for students after Monroe County’s event was canceled last year.
“She did Autumn Lane All-Stars, which was very similar to it. It was kind of like a mock Special Olympics, and she had the entire school part of it,” Reisse said. “They all had signs with kids names on it and she had a whole opening ceremony, and the kids got to go out there and still enjoy it.”
Despite all she does, Giordano was surprised to receive the Golden Apple award.
News 8’s Ally Peters: “How are you feeling?
Tara Giordano: “Surprised, overwhelmed, very very honored. Disbelief. I am just so happy.”
However, her colleagues and coworkers were not surprised at all.
“She’s amazing. She’s an amazing woman. She’s amazing leader. She’s an amazing parent, she’s an amazing teacher, she deserves every recognition that she gets,” said Michael Ferris, the Principal at Autumn Lane Elementary.
Giordano’s love of learning comes from many things, but she said it’s the little ones she teaches and the people she works with that make her job so special.
“Every kid that walks through the doors makes me just smile and every time I see them throughout the day I truly ask myself, ‘how did I get so lucky?’” Giordano said. “Every day I get to work with these kids and I seriously… my bucket is filled every day. We say that a lot here at Autumn Lane, but I just feel grateful that I can say I actually really do enjoy my job and my friends that I work with and this building is amazing and I just feel like I am making a difference.”
And Giordano’s students would agree!
“When I found out about this, I asked some students about some words that they would use to describe Tara and they said things like ‘fun, caring, that she’s a leader.’ So all of the things that we’re doing here in the school, she models. The kids absolutely just adore her,” Ferris said.
Congratulations to Tara Giordano!
If you know any teachers deserving of a Golden Apple Award, you can fill out a nomination form by clicking here.