OSKALOOSA, Iowa — Walking through the hallways of Oskaloosa Middle School, Polly Ehret couldn’t believe what just happened.
“This is not something I would have ever dreamed of,” she tells Principal Mark Scholes.
Ehret, a 26-year educator at the district, has seen other teachers be awarded the Golden Apple but says when she received it, it was a reflection of her colleagues’ hard work too.
“I guess I would like to share this with the entire team at OMS because I think we are definitely a team and all work well together and I am just a small piece of that team.”
In her 26th year at the school district, Ehret has found her niche, taking a deep and personal interest in everyone in the school. ” I know some people probably look at that a time not spent doing my job but to me, it is my job. Connecting with people. I want them to know that someone cares about them as a human being not just a school employee.”
Ehret is an instructional coach at Oskaloosa Middle School. She remembers how important learning from other teachers was when she was new. Now she’s doing the same for others.
“You can’t thank a person enough for someone whose your support person both in the classroom and life. people come into your life for a reason and I’m glad she’s in mine,” says Stacy Walston, a fellow teacher at the middle school. The school’s principal describes Ehret as the type of teacher who makes coming to work easy.
“One of the best things Polly does is challenge thinking and she does so in a well-mannered and well-natured way. She always has a smile on her face,” says Scholes.
Ehret will retire at the end of this school year and is looking forward to spending time traveling, golfing, and reading, always remembering the special place teaching held in her heart.
“Education is hard and if you go into it looking for those daily props, this isn’t the field for you. You don’t get those daily affirmations that you are doing good things. You have to know in your heart you have the gift and that our students need you.”
You can see other Golden Apple Award winners and find out how you can nominate a teacher here.