By Pixie Sulser
Two Ramona High School teachers were among a select few honored at the 2013 Crystal Apple Teacher Recognition Awards ceremony sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
LDS students attending RHS chose Joseph Fuhrmann and Ola Knutsson as teachers who inspire students “above and beyond the school day.”
Along with honorees from Poway High School, Rancho Bernardo High School and Del Norte High School, Fuhrmann and Knutsson were recognized individually by the students who nominated them.
During the ceremony the nominating student introduces his or her chosen teacher and explains what makes that person so special. RHS junior Jason Mandich introduced Fuhrmann, his English teacher, as someone who uses his wit to engage students and his habit of answering a question with a question as a way of making students think for themselves.
“Mr. Fuhrmann is really an amazing teacher,” shared Mandich. “He goes in-depth with what we are reading and shows us how to make connections for a greater understanding.”
Niki Spring introduced her selection, Knutsson, with a story concerning a particular testing day. Spring said that she was extremely nervous about the test, and as Knutsson approached her desk while passing out exams, he quietly placed a folded sticky note in front of her.
Upon unfolding the note, she found an uplifting and calming message, “I believe in you! Remember to do the problems first that you know how to do and you will do great!”
Knutsson said Spring’s words brought tears to his eyes and made him put aside his planned speech for the evening and speak straight from the heart.
Fuhrmann described the event as inspirational.
“The evening began with entertainment by the student choir. The lyrics and harmonies were inspiring. I think that is what teachers try to do. We help our students to find their unique voice,” he said. “I know, as a teacher over the years, I have found my voice, the voice I share with students. As leaders of youth, one can do nothing more important that lead students to discover what they have to say to the world.”
Former Crystal Apple recipients from RHS include: Holly Anastas, Elaine Swatniki, Bill Bevill, Steve Koch, Rose Legg, Bill Tamburrino, Julie Bridgewater, Antoinette Dominguez, John Swafford, Jim Johnston, Charlie Buhl, Larry Nichols, Larry Bringham, Len Kulbacki, Mona Snodgrass, Courtney Sawada, Kylee Harris, Amanda Peet, Steve Emery, Dan Marshall, Holly Cross, Rebecca Geiger, Daniel James and Connie Mendoza.