ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Congratulations to this week’s Golden Apple winner — Theresa Hamm! 

Hamm has been teaching in the Rochester City School District since 2005. She currently teaches 3rd graders at Anna Murray-Douglass Academy School No. 12.

“My dad was a teacher in Hilton and so I always saw him grading papers and having fun every day and then hearing his stories, so I always wanted to be like him,” Hamm said. 

Hamm’s colleagues say she is an “exemplary teacher” who goes above and beyond to meet the need of her students. Principal Katie Trepanier says Hamm creates things for the school that bring them to the next level.

“She created a PBIS, positive behavior intervention system, that allowed us to celebrate teams in our cafe, so that our students are holding themselves to very high expectations,” Trepanier said.

As part of that system, Trepanier said Hamm created “Douglas Dollars” that are given to students with good behavior, especially during lunchtime. 

“Douglas dollars go out to our scholars that are showing our AMDA core values daily and we celebrate by the class. So it’s a community effort in order for us to celebrate the great things happening in our school,” she said. 

Hamm says she loves coming to work each day and making kids smile. To do that, she works hard to make learning fun and adventurous, like sharing jokes and riddles. She even dressed up as Freddie Mercury during a contest with her class as they sang “We are the Champions.”

“Teresa is very collaborative and she’s just a ton of fun. She makes learning fun and the kids love being in her classroom,” said Assistant Principal Margaret Crowley. 

Crowley adds Hamm builds relationships with scholars and meets one-on-one with them to let them know how they are progressing academically. She also says Hamm celebrates with students when they reach certain milestones, which helps build confidence.

For Hamm’s positive energy and dedication to her school, Crowley and Trepanier wanted to surprise her with a Golden Apple Award through News 8. It also just so happened to be Hamm’s birthday when our News 8 crew surprised her. 

“Oh my goodness, I can’t even believe it,” Hamm said. “I watch this on TV at night and I get teary-eyed watching everybody else so I can’t believe it’s really happening right now, but it’s just really nice to be appreciated.” 

Congratulations to Theresa Hamm! Thank you for all you do for our community. 

If you know a teacher you’d like to nominate for a Golden Apple award, we have nomination forms here.