Our Golden Apple Award winner says he treats the kids at his school like his own, all 701 of them! We surprise Greece Apollo Middle School Assistant Principal Mike Walker.
Mr. Walker believes kids deserve his best every day. So we did our best to surprise him with a News 8 Golden Apple Award. Principal Linda Pickering had an idea to trick him by calling him to a classroom where we were waiting. When he walked in we all yelled surprise!
He was speechless. Especially when he found out who the family was that nominated him. Eighth Grader Gabby Poupore and her mom. Tracy Pauper says "Last year we had a really tough time with her. Grade wise, socializing, she almost hit rock bottom."
"I don't know it's been different" says Gabby. "Like me getting in trouble all the time and getting ISS. Not having anybody believe in me. He's helped me a lot. He's followed me through everything. He's done so much for me and my family."
Gabby's mom credits Mike Walker with turning her daughter's life around.. by showing he cares and raising expectations. He says "These kids deserve the best we can give them. So I will do everything I can. you know I treat these kids like my own kids. And I get as much out of their success as they do. You always assume you're making a difference, but you never expect to be rewarded by it. You just do it because you know it's the right thing to do and the kids deserve it." "
Principal Pickering says "Mike's a great human being and he's fair and he's consistent and he makes the connections with kids that are important."
Mike Walker is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. You can read the letter we got from the Poupore family below.
Dear News 8,
My daughter, Gabrielle Poupore, is an 8th grader at Apollo Middle School. As a mom who was originally told I could never have children, Gabrielle is my miracle child. Gabrielle was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 10. With the help of medication, things in and out of school were going fine.
This is Gabrielle's fourth year at Apollo after being held back last year. Over the last four years, Gabrielle has had her share of academic challenges, which lead her to make questionable choices inside and outside of school. When she entered middle school, her grades dropped to failing, teachers were calling daily, we received numerous emails regarding Gabrielle's grades and behaviors. All this led to detention, halfway violations and suspension.
This is where Michael Walker, Assistant Principal, entered our lives. He has given Gabrielle a haven to go to at anytime, with any concern. He checks on her daily, listens to her problems, guides her to smart choices, checks in with her teachers regarding her academics and takes the time to call me frequently with updates.
Truly, I do not know where my miracle would be if not for Mr. Walker. He has made such a positive impact on Gabrielle that as this school year started her exact words were "I can't let Mr. Walker down."
Michael Walker has been my daughter's pillar of strength. He has gone above and beyond the role of assistant principal and is the kind of educator that my husband, Glenn, and I are forever grateful exists in this challenging world.
Please consider MICHAEL WALKER for the GOLDEN APPLE AWARD. You would have to search extensively to find a more deserving person. Thank you for your consideration.