December 2013 Winner - June Rozar:(Quitman)


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Meridian Star Article

By Terri Ferguson Smith

They come to her just barely out of the toddler stage and she turns them into young learners who can sit still in a chair long enough to hear a story. By the time they leave her class, they can read.

Life with pre-kindergartners may not be for the faint-hearted but it is for kind-hearted teachers like June Rozar, a teacher at Quitman Lower Elementary School, and the December recipient of the Golden Apple Award. In front of a full assembly of students in pre-K through second grade, Rozar was surprised and brought to tears to learn she had been awarded the Golden Apple, but she used a little humor to express her feelings.

"I thought one of us had won the Publisher's Clearinghouse," Rozar said to the assembly.

Colleagues and former students prize the 23-year teaching veteran for her dedication, including one young man who graduated in 2013 and was among several who nominated her for the award.

"She helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life. Not only was Mrs. Rozar my kindergarten teacher, she was also my Sunday school teacher," Evan Davis wrote. "She taught me what patience and understanding is all about. Kindergarten was the first year in the outside world without my sister. I was so confused, lonely, and lost without her. "Mrs. Rozar explained that Jina would always be with me, she was an angel now. Mrs. Rozar understood where I was coming from and has encouraged me during my thirteen years of school."

Elisa Mayo, the parent of a former student, wrote of the garden Rozar tends.

"Just this week, she's decided that she and her kids will plant the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin they carved," Mayo wrote. "Then, next year when they are kindergartners their pumpkin patch will be ready for harvest. Why? Because she says many have never seen pumpkins growing in a field and they'll be proud when they see them. Of course, they will be because Ms. Rozar believes in them."