ANTHEM, AZ (Silver Apple) -- Students and faculty from Diamond Canyon Elementary School in Anthem were all in on a surprise for sixth-grade social studies teacher and basketball coach Robert Dogal. 3TV and our partners at Arizona Bank and Trust are awarding him with the Silver Apple Award for excellence in education, not only this semester but for everything he's done as an educator.
Even better? He's being awarded the Silver Apple during a time when many changes and transitions have made for a challenging school year.
"Even though quarter one was tough, Zooming for the entire quarter, it was a transition for them as well as us. But we all kind of worked through together," Dogal said of his students. "By the time we got back to the classroom, I think we saw how much we missed being in the classroom and being around each other."
According to Dee Dee Dwyer, his students credit Dogal with keeping the learning train on the tracks. Dee Dee is the one who nominated Dogal for the honor.
"Mr. Dogal is the all-time best teacher. He does everything for the kids," she said. "He also takes all his time to make anything fun and actually make us want to do it. He makes us all work hard so we can move on and be the best version of ourselves. Mr. Dogal absolutely needs to win this award because he is so amazing."
"Thank you so much. This really means a lot, and I'm blown away by the support," Dogal said during the virtual award ceremony. "Thank you. Thank you very much."
Despite all the attention, Dogal was quick to pass along the praise to his students. "I think the hardest transition was definitely on them and being able to adapt to a new style of learning, a new style of what school looks like. And they've done very well with it; they've taken the challenge and run with it."
Dogal is helping his student learn an essential life-long lesson -- attitude is everything.
"Mistakes will happen," he said. "Times are not going to be perfect, but the way they look at the situation and their attitude can impact it in a positive direction."