Students award teachers with Crystal Apple

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For years, students have given their teachers apples as a symbol of thanks and appreciation. But these days it’s more than the edible, red apple – it’s turned into a crystal apple. For three years, a group of Rocklin students have been the decision-makers in one award — the Crystal Apple Teacher Recognition Awards.

The scene
Approximately 200 community members, teachers, principals and students gathered at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rocklin last Thursday for the annual Crystal Apple Teacher Recognition Awards. Students presented awards to each of the four teachers.

The honorees
Four teachers, each from Rocklin, Whitney, Lincoln and Del Oro high schools were nominated by students from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who attend weekday early-morning seminary classes before school.
“Students are specifically looking for teachers that inspire and put an emphasis on honesty and integrity,” said Jonathan Taylor, media representative for the awards.

Rocklin High School
Rocklin High School visual and performing arts teacher Meredith Hawkins was honored and chosen by students for one of the four awards.
“Ms. Hawkins gives so much to her students. She has given to me a great appreciation and love for singing and music that I will retain for the rest of my life,” said Valerie Dudley, one of the students who nominated Hawkins. “I don’t know of a teacher who deserves this more than her, he has blessed the lives of many, much more than she is aware.”

Whitney High School
Matt Yamamoto, a science teacher at Whitney, was also a recipient of the Crystal Apple award.
“He is a great teacher,” said Lauren Van Wagenen, one of the students that nominated Yamamoto. “He teaches his subject very well and gets the points across. He is nice to students and cares about your grade.”

About seminary
Approximately 400 early-rising students in the Rocklin, Loomis and Lincoln area attend seminary, a four-year educational program for high school students. The school year is spent studying one book of scripture with classes held in the morning at church buildings before the school day begins.

— Lauren Weber