Sacred Heart Catholic School pre-K teacher wins Golden Apple Award

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 4:41 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - This month’s TEC and WDAM Golden Apple Award Winner is Lynette Villarreal, a pre-K teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School.

Villarreal’s nominator tells us she uses art to open her student’s minds to every subject, even math. The nominator wenr on to say the love, attention to detail and energy this teacher of 26 years shows every day is outstanding.

Sacred Heart assistant teacher Catherine Garcia said Villarreal puts her students first in her life.

“Ms. Villarreal is a wonderful person,” Garcia said. “She is a fantastic teacher. She comes in early. She’s always the first one here at school, she’s always the last one here to go home. She dedicates her life to these kids.”

When it was time to surprise Villarreal, WDAM waited outside her door while faculty and staff rounded up several kids and teachers. When the crowd yelled ‘surprise’ as she stepped out of her classroom, Villarreal looked stunned. Villarreal said finding out she is the Golden Apple Award Winner is a big surprise.

“I’m just so grateful that I can be here with these kids all the time,” Villarreal said. “I can be a part of their lives and watch them grow and learn so I’m very grateful.”

She went on to explain her favorite parts of teaching.

“Just that I get to see them grow and learn so much,” Villarreal said. “My favorite subject to teach is art, but I like to teach the other subjects through art such as math and science and reading and all that.”

Villarreal had a message for other teachers.

“Just hang in there, we are going to get through this,” Villarreal said. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and everything is gonna be just fine.”

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