Silver Apple Class of 2011-12: Cathy Colton

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PHOENIX -- Think back to second grade. You were 7 or 8 years old. You were enthusiastic and eager to please and crazy about your teacher. Especially if she was like our latest Silver Apple teacher Cathy Colton at Yavapai Elementary School in Scottsdale.

Colton is one of Arizona's most special teachers. She loves her young students' energy and enthusiasm and says she gets as much from them as they do from her. In a recent visit to her classroom we asked her what she learns from her students.

"Just to be honest and enthusiastic about learning and about life," Colton said. "We learn about all kinds of things in our classroom -- reading, writing and math. We also learn how to work together as a family and in the community, as well."

Colton really understands how important human relations are to success in school and in life. Character counts here.

"Responsible, respectful, how to be kind and considerate and helpful towards each other -- those things matter," she said.

David Grieves nominated Colton for the Silver Apple. He is no longer in her class, but his mom helped write his letter. During our recent visit our sponsor, Dr. Alex Bigham with Novocur Pain Management Clinics, read David's letter to the class. "Mrs. Colton protects his self-esteem by loving rewarding him for good behavior. She patiently took the time to give me materials to help David at home."

We took Colton by surprise with our appearance. Turns out it was perfect timing in the wake of a challenging year for her family. The surprise got even sweeter when Colton was presented a $500 check from our sponsor Novocur for use in her classroom.

Colton made a very special effort to point out that she couldn't achieve success in the classroom without the support of all the other teachers and the staff at Yavapai Elementary.