PHOENIX - Recent research confirms, great teachers, more than any other single factor, create successful students. A veteran elementary school teacher in Peoria earns the Silver Apple award for truly changing a life.
Cheryl Mertz electric personality engages her students and even Patti when they meet for the first time. It is her special spark that touched one student at Desert Harbor Elementary School who nominated Mrs. Mertz for the Silver Apple Award. Kamryn Rasussen nominated Mrs. Mertz who helped her deal with the hearing disability in her left ear.
"She helped me feel more at peace about it," said Rasmussen, " And never made me feel different than any of the other kids."
As a teacher of gifted students and fellow teachers, Mertz is on a quest to engage her class in thinking differently and to make learning fun. Her mission is to create great problem solvers and evolve their communication skills for the future.
One of only eight teacher awarded the Silver Apple Award, Mrs. Mertz is now a member of an elite group of Arizona educators. Her honor comes with a Silver Apple trophy and a check for $500 from ACE Air to use in her classroom.
"We're learning and growing all the time. And our role on this campus and other campuses is to share that knowledge with other teacher so the they can learn new strategies, " explained Mertz "Because we're all lifelong learners."