St. Mary’s fifth grade teacher named Golden Apple recipient
Educator is eighth awardee at school in nine years
Michelle Truss spent several seconds staring in surprise while the St. Mary’s Bryantown Catholic School cafeteria erupted into cheers at her entry.
Then the message on the banners sank in: “Congratulations Michelle Truss: 2017 Golden Apple Winner,” and Truss put her hands to her face.
“I’m just speechless, I never would have expected it,” Truss said
afterward. “My heart is going a mile a minute. It’s just an amazing honor. I do what I love every day, not everyone can say that, and I work with an amazing faculty. I’m one of the luckiest people.”
Every year, the Archdiocese of Washington selects 10 teachers from the 96 Catholic schools in the district to present with its Golden Apple Award.
“I never expected it,” Truss said. “There are many amazing teachers out there, and for me to be selected as one of the 10, I’m just in awe. I have such an amazing principal here, and all of my colleagues are amazing.”
The Golden Apple Awards were created by the nonprofit Donahue Family Foundation to recognize excellence in Catholic education, according to the Archbishop of Washington’s blog.
“That award is a very special gift from the Donahue family, who wanted to thank all of our special Catholic school teachers in all of our archdiocese every year,” said Wendy Anderson, associate superintendent for academics and school leadership for the archdiocese.
Recipients must be practicing Catholics and full-time teachers who have completed a minimum of three years teaching at their school.
Awardees will be recognized at a special dinner hosted by Archbishop Donald Wuerl May 4 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., where they will receive their Golden Apple Award and a check for $5,000, Anderson said.
A Waldorf resident, Truss is in her fifth year of teaching at St. Mary’s.
“We are truly blessed to have her here in our building. She puts children first each and every day and provides such creative, exciting lessons for them to learn,” said Principal Sharon Caniglia. “She is the first to volunteer for anything in this building, from basketball to Relay For Life, she is truly an example of an excellent teacher.”
Truss is the eighth Golden Apple awardee from St. Mary’s Bryantown in the past nine years, according to Caniglia.
“There are so many good teachers in the world, but to have so many here is a blessing,” Caniglia said.
Jill Rison, art and instructional specialist, wrote the letter nominating Truss.
“I’m blessed to have her as my daughter’s teacher for fifth grade. I nominated her because she has a love of Jesus that shows through every action that she does, and because she has a love of teaching,” Rison said.
Gio Guadagnoli, 11, one of Truss’s students, said Truss always keeps classroom lessons exciting.
“She does a lot of fun activities, she’s really funny, and I think most of the students really like her,” Guadagnoli said. “Mrs. Truss makes all of the students laugh.”
Another student, Shirley Edgarton, 11, said Truss is kind and helpful.
“If I didn’t understand a math problem, she would help me out,” Edgarton said. “I’ll always remember in Mrs. Truss’s class how warm and sweet she is.”
St. Mary’s Bryantown Catholic school teacher Michelle Truss is brought to the school cafeteria by Vice Principal Jane Johnson, where she was greeted by cheering students congratulating her on being named a 2017 Golden Apple recipient by the Archdiocese of Washington.
St. Mary’s Bryantown Catholic school teacher Michelle Truss sits for pictures with her students following a surprise assembly in which Truss was announced as a 2017 Golden Apple recipient by the Archdiocese of Washington.
St. Mary’s Bryantown Catholic school teacher Michelle Truss is introduced by Principal Sharon Caniglia during a surprise assembly in which it was announced Truss was named a 2017 Golden Apple recipient by the Archdiocese of Washington.
St. Mary’s Bryantown Catholic school teacher Michelle Truss is greeted by her students congratulating her on being named a 2017 Golden Apple recipient by the Archdiocese of Washington.