Wensmann, Kokales, Weishaar honored with Golden Apple Awards

Wensmann, Kokales, Weishaar honored with Golden Apple Awards

Renae Wensmann, JoAnn Kokales and Jennifer Weishaar hold their Golden Apple Awards.

Three people who have made significant contributions to the district were honored with Golden Apple Awards from the Aberdeen Public Schools Foundation.

The awards recognize individuals who are “dedicated, inspiring and making a difference in the Aberdeen School District,” according to a news release.

The honorees are Renae Wensmann, an administrative assistant at Lincoln Elementary; JoAnn Kokales, a retired C.C. Lee Elementary librarian; and Jennifer Weishaar, a first-grade teacher at Mike Miller Elementary.

Honorees each received $500 and an engraved golden apple.

Wensmann has been working at the school for more than 10 years, according to the release. She goes above and beyond in her job, often decorating and organizing staff luncheons, as well as putting in extra hours to ensure that things run smoothly at the school.

According to the release, Wensmann also works with students, volunteering to help them read or with their schoolwork.

Kokales, according to the release, spent her career creating the library at C.C. Lee Elementary, creating engaging programs that highlighted Caldecott illustrations, Newbery award winning authors, and the South Dakota children’s book awards. She encouraged children to read, with the Hundred Reading Club honoring their achievements with certificates and awards along the way.

Kokales is noted for her direction of National Library Work. It always had a theme that included a play, costumes, school-wide activities and a bookmark for every students, said the release.

Weishaar, according to the release, always goes above and beyond for her students, ensuring she gets to know each of them and their individual needs. It is not uncommon to see her at work on Saturdays, planning ahead her activities for the week.

Weishaar has been a mentor to many teachers, sharing her professional knowledge by working with first-year teachers, Northern State University students as well as her colleagues.

This article originally appeared on Aberdeen News: Golden Apple Award recipients

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