Crystal Apple Award | Honor Local Teachers

Local Teachers Honored with Crystal Apple Award

There is a lot in the news lately about what isn’t going well in our country.

Violence across the country, a very contentious and unprecedented election season, and the list goes on.

But, at the local level, there is a lot of positivism and people going above and beyond to make their community better, like many of our teachers.

This week, on October 5, the Partners in Educational Excellence and Workforce Development, which is coordinated by the Marshfield Area Chamber Foundation, will honor 24 teachers at their annual Crystal Apple Awards Dinner.

blue-appleThese are local teachers that are nominated by their students and selected by their peers for their excellence in education.

“The banquet on October 5 is a wonderful opportunity to bring business and education together and celebrate the importance of education,” said MACCI Program Director Debbie Bauer.

The night will honor 20 Teachers of Distinction and four Crystal Apple winners.

The Crystal Apple winners, which were selected from the 909 nominations for 321 different teachers, were announced this spring. They are:

Shauna Dargenio – Marshfield High School
American Republic (history), Psychology, and Advanced Placement Psychology

Mark Denniston – Pittsville High School


Jill Kupfer – Lincoln Elementary

5th grade

Jennifer Mortvedt – Nasonville Elementary
3rd grade

Receiving the award came as both an honor and a shock to the winners.

“Yes, I was surprised.  Mr. Weddig, my principal, came into my first block class along with a few community business leaders, many of my family members, and a former student, to inform me that I had been selected for the award.  It was very nice to be able to share that moment with many of the people who are special to me,” said Denniston.

Dargenio was also surprised.

“I know I have great rapport with my students and love being their teacher but there are so many other deserving educators so I was surprised to earn this prestigious award,” she said.

Kupfer was shocked to get through the whole rigorous selection process which includes initial votes and nominations from students, votes by teachers, submitting a personal statement and then meeting with a selection committee.

“When I first saw the list of teachers of distinction I thought, ‘Wow, with these teachers on the list, there is no way!’” she said.

Across all the winners, who teach in a variety of subjects and age ranges, the common thread is their passion for their calling.

“This is a huge honor for me to have won this award. I truly enjoy coming to work every day, and this job is a job like no other. There are so many small things that mean so much – kind words and hugs from students, along with the elation we feel when the students learn, excel, and gain that self confidence that they need to do their best. But to actually receive an award for doing what I love to do is an amazing honor and I am very grateful to have been singled out in this way,” Mortvedt said.

Dargenio agrees.

“I was very taken back with emotions because I truly love my profession and it is nice to get recognized for what you do,” she said.

The Crystal Apple program, which is in it’s 14 year, is truly a culmination of the whole community to honor excellence in education.

“These individuals were nominated by their students and parents, recommended by their peers, and selected by business leaders.  It is truly a community effort in identifying the best of best in education,” Bauer said.

The winners are both excited and nervous about this week’s banquet. But as always, they keep their eye on the real purpose, the children.

“I am (excited about the banquet) but am trying to shake the nerves!  This award is about our kids in our community and our responsibility to help them grow to be kind, caring, responsible adults.  This is all about the kids,” Kupfer said.

“Thank you MACCI and sponsors for recognizing educators who put their heart into helping kids every day. We appreciate it,” she said.