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'It’s not about teaching Hamlet': Golden Apple highlights Billings educators

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Posted at 6:35 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 20:35:48-04

BILLINGS — Six educators from across the Bilings school district were awarded with a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education on Tuesday.

“They’re in early. They’re staying late," said Lynn Jensen, an organizer with the Golden Apple program. "They give so much of their own personal time. It’s not just an eight-to-four job with two months off in the summer.”

One of those educators was Shea Mangold, an English teacher at Billings Senior High School.

“She gives us so much liberty with the assignments we do. We can kind of customize them so it really makes it fun and interesting," said Riley Guptill, one of Mangold's students.

While Mangold loves her subject, she said she loves her students more.

“It’s not about teaching Hamlet," said Mangold, "One of my students, she didn’t have a home when she was in middle school and (was) a freshman, and she just sent me her graduation letter from college, and just to see that makes me tear up.”

Alongside teachers, administrators and support professionals were also eligible for Golden Apple Awards.

“He wants the best for the kids in his school and the staff in his building," said Anna Fred, a third-grade teacher at Beartooth Elementary about the school's principal, Travis Niemeyer, who was also awarded a golden apple.

Despite being lauded, Neimeyer said it is the work of an entire community responsible for successful education.

“We get out of it what we put in, and we’re very fortunate to have some wonderful, wonderful, educators," said Jensen.