Biology Teacher Joy Mayer Named Teacher of Distinction by Golden Apple Awards Program


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The 27th annual Golden Apple Awards ceremony, scheduled for April 15, will recognize those teachers who go above and beyond in their commitment to teaching.

Among those to be honored as a Teacher of Distinction will be Mrs. Joy Mayer, a biology teacher here at NDA. 

The Golden Apple Awards are a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber, with support from major sponsors.

In the words of the program’s website, the Golden Apple “is an award for outstanding teachers for their roles in having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and builds stronger communities. Teacher finalists demonstrate significant, positive impact on their students’ growth and learning.” 

Many of Notre Dame’s faculty were nominated this year, including AJ Alexander, Melanie Bradshaw, Crystal Dory, Greg Geiser, Chris Gray, Chris Greisen, Douglas Guyette, Andrea Hearden, Holly Hinch, Ann Hollenback, Steve Johnson, Bryan Konshak, Daniel Morris, Michael Prudisch, Brenda Rentmeester, Matthew Schultz, Katie Stanczak and Yang Yang.

“It is a great honor to be nominated and to be nominated with many other NDA teachers,” said Mrs. Mayer. “It is nice to know that students and parents haven taken the time to nominate their teachers.”

Other nominees also appreciated the support.  Math teacher Douglas Guyette said, “It is an honor to be nominated; it means that at least one person values my work enough to go through the process to nominate me.” 

The NDA faculty and staff all put in a lot of work. To be nominated is a kind of thank you from the NDA community. The recipients talked about the daily challenges of trying to be worthy of such trust.

Biology teacher Michael Prudisch said, “I think my biggest challenge is trying to motivate students to do their very best each day. Finding ways to spark their curiosity is one of the challenges that keeps me working as hard as I can to be the best educator I can be.”

New to the NDA family this year, business teacher nominee Daniel Morris is already excelling in the Notre Dame atmosphere. 

“After being in business a long time I found teachers to be fascinating people. I love history, literature, and science, and I could always find someone that has interesting thoughts on just about any subject,” said Morris. 

Math teacher Chris Greisen said, “My biggest challenge is to try to make complicated concepts into ones that are easily understandable.” 

“My family was my biggest influence. I have been watching Old Mr. Geiser teach for my whole life. My mom worked with infants in a daycare center and was always teaching them. Teaching runs in the family,” said history teacher Greg Geiser. 

Science teacher Andrea Hearden said, “I feel humbled that someone would take the time to write a nomination for me. We all become teachers to make a difference in the lives of young people. A Golden Apple nomination lets us know that at least one person thinks we are achieving that goal.”

“I graduated from Notre Dame and in my Senior Yearbook, I talked about how I wanted to be a teacher like Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Brown,” said Holly Hinch. 

Theology teacher Katie Stanczak said, “It is an honor to be nominated and also very humbling to be acknowledged for all of the time, work, commitment and dedication to students over the years.”