WILLIAMSON, NY (WROC) — She’s known for her sense of humor and students say they can trust her! Ms. Tina Zanino is a teacher at Williamson Middle School. She’s been coaching since she was 13 years old and says she always wanted to be a teacher. Now she’s being recognized with a Golden Apple Award.
Students aren’t afraid to raise their hands in Ms. Tina Zanino’s eighth grade English class. That’s because they say she makes everyone feel comfortable.
“Her classroom environment is a place where we can all be ourselves. There’s no judgment there. I’m a very shy person and I don’t like to raise my hand but in that class, I’ll raise my hand all the time,” explains student Alexa Governor.
Williamson Middle School Principal John Fulmer says there’s always laughter coming from her classroom. He says, “Ms. Zanino brings such a positive atmosphere to her classroom. She’s such a pleasant person to be around.”
Alexa Governor nominated Ms. Zanino for a Golden Apple saying, “She is the best teacher out there. She is always there for students. She puts students before herself.”
Today, students put her first. Alexa Governor helped our News 8 crew surprise Ms. Tina Zanino in front of a classroom full of students.
Lia Lando: “Congratulations, You won a Golden Apple! Alexa here nominated you.
Ms. Tina Zanino: “Oh my gosh, thank you so much! Thank you! (hugging Alexa as the class clapped)
Lia Lando: “Alexa says you create a safe environment for everybody. How important is it to do that?”
Ms. Tina Zanino: “It’s very important. I try my hardest to make sure all of them feel safe and are comfortable with me and I’m kind of really goofy in front of all of them.”
Lia Lando: “What do you hope they learn from you?”
Ms. Tina Zanino: “Obviously reading and writing but honestly just to be good people and you know to be kind to others.”
She says she hopes students take those life lessons and use them outside of the classroom, too.