PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- In Mr. Beau Wagner's government and economics class at Washington High School, students are learning about cost-benefit analysis in politics, but also in their own lives.
Mr. Wagner works hard to prepare his juniors and seniors to head out into the real world.
All that extra time, effort and care he invests in his students spurred one of them to nominate Mr. Wagner for a Silver Apple Award.
We stopped by his classroom to surprise him and present him with the award.
“I enjoy being here every day. We're talking about economics and making trade-offs and I, of course, could have chosen to sleep in or pursue a career in business,” explains Mr. Wagner. “I chose to be here because I really wanted to be here.”
Francine Tusinge is glad he made that decision. She was the one who wrote the Silver Apple Committee.
Francine read part of her letter to Mr. Wagner. “Let me start off by saying I am an immigrant from Tanzania. I came to the United States not knowing how the government runs and the rules until my junior year in high school,” said Francine. “That is when I learned about government history and American history and what I can do to participate when I turn 18.”
Francine says she will go on to college next year. As she continued to read her letter, she said of Mr. Wagner, “He has changed lives and changed the future for a lot of students, including me.”
“I do really want all my students to understand that there are tremendous opportunities for them in this country,” said Mr. Wagner in front of his class. “I want them to feel welcomed and I want them to feel this country belongs to all of us.”
The Arizona Dairy Council partner's with Arizona's Family to say thank you to Silver Apple recipients.
"On behalf of Arizona's dairy farmers, we want to present you with a check for $1000,” said Eric Rovey from Rovey Dairy Farm. “We appreciate what you do for all of your students and obviously you make a heck of an impact.”
Even when Mr. Wagner was being honored, he chose to use the check presentation as a teachable moment.
As he held the check in front of his class, Mr. Wagner said, “The cost of being a teacher is sometimes not understood in full. A lot of times we put in our own personal money to buy paper and pencils and supplies and things we want our students to be able to have. I will be sure to spend it wisely, making good economic choices.”
Mr. Wagner’s students chuckled at the endearing moment. He managed to captivate them, making it clear to see why this teacher is so loved.