NASELLE-Winning the "Golden Apple Award" is an honor that only goes to ten individuals or school programs in the state during a year. One of this year's coveted awards is going to Sharon Bishop, a teacher at the Naselle Youth Camp School (NYCS).
The ten award winners were selected from a group of 230 nominees for The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education for 2002. KCTS Television in Seattle announced that Bishop, nominated by a NYCS student, is one of this year's recipients.
Information on the award criteria, received by NYCS principal Robin Andrea, said "Relying on criterion such as awakening and nurturing enthusiasm for learning. Going beyond the normal curriculum to enrich learning experiences. Respecting individual talent and encouraging peak performances. Mrs. Bishop was considered a superior candidate for the award and will receive a 'Golden Apple' statuette, a $250 personal award, and a $1,500 grant from PEMCO Insurance to use to support her educational program."
Nominations for the award can come from several sources - students, parents, teachers, and community members are among the usual sources for nominations. Bishop was nominated by one of her incarcerated students at the Naselle Youth Camp High School.
Bishop has been a teacher since 1983 and is in her 20th year in the field of education. As part of the nominating process, Bishop included the following in her narrative self-description.
"I would like to share an excerpt from a letter I recently received from a student who has since been released from the camp. '... I came to you with no faith in myself. You built me up, and not on false hopes. You told me I could do it. and I did it. No matter how much I wanted to give up, you wouldn't let me. Thank you. You never stopped believing in me. When I get out and I feel like giving up, I will think of you, and know that someone believes in me. You taught me a lot, and not just about school, but about life. Just knowing that you cared kept me motivated...' (The student just passed her GED exam and has now been released.)"
Bishop continued, "The youth camp will not be the end of most of the residents' educational experience. But if I can motivate a students to continue his/her education, to feel a sense of success and self-worth, and to begin to make better decisions that will make that person, ultimately, a more productive citizen, then I feel that I will have achieved my goal as an educator."
A television crew from KCTS will be coming to NYCS to film Bishop and her students for a program on the Golden Apple Award winners, to be broadcast later.