BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Two Maumee classroom teachers and a district administrator have been named recipients of the 2021 Golden Apple Award for their dedication to teaching and excellence in the classroom.
Teachers Shayla Ferguson and Amy Stough and district technology director Jason Dugan will receive their awards at the Maumee Hometown Hero Awards Banquet on Thursday, August 26.
According to Maumee Chamber of Commerce executive director Kristin Meyer, there were 41 teachers nominated for an award this year and over 80 nomination letters submitted on their behalf.
Ferguson has been a member of the MHS staff for 12 years as a cross-categorical instructor, meaning that she works with students with disabilities. Among the 13 people who nominated her for the award are paraprofessionals and student teachers with whom she has worked, parents of the students she has had in her classroom, fellow teachers and administrators.
Dr. Francine Ellis of the Educational Service Center Lake Erie West said that Ferguson is the kind of teacher who “sees the deeper needs of those she serves, especially in regard to vocational and life skills.”
“Shayla Ferguson is a treasure among teachers,” she wrote in her letter.
In addition to working with students in the classroom, Ferguson also established vocational opportunities for her students with regular visits to the Toledo Humane Society, Timbers Bowling, YMCA, Metroparks Toledo parks and Sunshine Communities, where her students worked on tasks such as putting together treat bags for pets, stocking shelves and putting together employee packets.
Maumee speech and language pathologist Shannan Boyd described Ferguson as a “creative, endearing and enthusiastic educator who strives to help her students give back to the community.”
Gateway Middle School technology teacher Amy Stough is credited with providing vital assistance to staff and students during an extremely difficult year.
Fellow teacher Mandi Bentz nominated Stough for the award and highlighted her many accomplishments, especially during the pandemic.
Stough recorded “how to” videos to help fellow staff navigate the online learning platforms, and put together spreadsheets to streamline and organize the educational processes. She also found innovative ways to keep her students motivated with engaging activities that put students in control of their learning.
“While this year has been a challenge for every teacher, not every teacher has engendered the excitement for learning that Mrs. Amy Stough has,” Bentz wrote.
Several students also nominated Stough for the award, including Skye Carter, who is now in high school.
“I truly believe she can inspire and make kids be a better version of themselves because that is what she did for me,” Carter wrote in her nomination letter.
Members of the Maumee City Schools Board of Education collectively nominated district technology director Jason Dugan for a Golden Apple Award for his extraordinary work during the pandemic.
He is credited with having the right technology in place when the pandemic hit while helping students, parents and staff meet the many challenges that arose.
Board president Stephanie Piechowiak said he was available around the clock to those who needed help.
“As a district, we could not have asked for a better person to run our technology department and manage staff, and he is an individual who was ready and willing to adapt to everchanging challenges that were presented to him, and there were many,” she wrote in her letter.
Board member Mike Wiley noted that other districts reach out to him for guidance in creating robust technology-based learning spaces.
“His progressive thinking has put Maumee on the forefront of makerspaces, STEAM labs and school safety,” Wiley wrote
The Golden Apple Awards will be presented at the 2021 Maumee Hometown Hero Awards banquet on Thursday, August 26 at The Pinnacle in Maumee.
A pre-reception begins at 5:30 and the dinner and awards will begin at 6:00 p.m.
The cost to attend is $40.00 per person or $350 for a table of 10. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
For information or to purchase tickets, contact the Maumee Chamber of Commerce at https://maumeechamber.com or call (419) 893-5805.