Winslow Elementary principal Andrea Hyatta asked Sherman Elementary School teacher Barbara Agness to visit her old school. They were going to surprise her former student, Matthew Morgan, with an award. Photographer Jay Gardner asked her what she thought would happen.
"Well I think he's going to be excited and surprised and very pleased," she said.
But little did she know, we were hiding with Matthew and other former classmates waiting for her to surprise her with a Golden Apple Award. Mrs. Agness was Matthew's 3rd grade teacher. He has scoliosis.
Every six months I have surgery and in 3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade this year she came to my surgeries," he said. "She never has forgotten about me."
"It's in caring for your students and your families, that is what education is about," Agness said.
"It makes my son Matthew feel as if maybe he means something to her and she cares about her people," Susan Moran said. "It makes me feel wonderful and it's such a great feeling knowing there's people out there that truly care."
Barbara Agness has been caring for students and families in the Rush-Henrietta School District for 24 years.
"She is just a great collaborator. She loves to work with people in the building and she loves to learn and loves to help others learn; and she has this infectious enthusiasm about her that's really fun to work with," principal Hyatt said.
"I take each student home with me. you take them home, you think about them, you care about them, and how can you make their lives better; And that's what this is about," Agness said.
Below is the letter sent to us nominating Mrs. Agness for the award:
Dear News 8,
I would like to nominate Barbara Agness for the Golden Apple Award. Not only is Mrs. Agness an exceptional teacher but, she goes above and beyond for her students with medical needs. My son Matthew, is an example as to why I feel that she is very deserving of this award.
Matthew has Scoliosis and had growing rods put in when he was 5 years old. He requires surgery every 6 months to lengthen the rods.
Matthew is now in the 5th grade at Winslow Elementary. He had Mrs. Agness as his 3rd grade teacher. She visited Matthew in the hospital in November and May of that year. Bringing him cards from his classmates and always a card or gift from herself to raise his spirits. She would always bring something for his sister too and stay and visit with him for a couple of hours.
In 4th grade, guess who was there to visit with Matthew - Mrs. Agness.
This school year, she transferred to Sherman Elementary. She again visited him for his recent surgery in November. She continuously want's updates and plans to visit him for his upcoming surgery later this year.
Mrs. Agness is such a wonderful, caring person with a big heart and a GREAT TEACHER too! That is why Matthew and I feel that Mrs. Agness is a great candidate for the Golden Apple Award and truly hope that she will be selected for something that she is so deserving of.