GREEN BAY - Monday marked the completion of two decades of recognizing some of the outstanding teaching going on in area classrooms.
FOX 11 helped present the 2013 Golden Apple Awards to 16 teachers. The most ever in a single year from the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.
And the awards were at all levels: high school, middle and elementary.
We turned the lights on to a twentith group of Golden Apple recipients. In the computer lab at Washington Middle School, Jennifer Ditzman received her apple.
"Jennifer, on behalf of more than 200 associates of Press Gazette Media, we would like to congratulate you on being an amazing teacher in this community and recognize you as a 2013 Golden Apple Award winner. Thank you," said Amber Paluch, Green Bay Press Gazette.
Apparently, it put Ditzman in an unusual situation.
"My kids are looking at me. Look, she's speechless for once," said Ditzman.
But, when the awards ceremony comes around in mid-April, it could be quite the week for her.
"I'm due April 21," she said.
Next stop...Katie Mueller's classroom at Danz Elementary.
"Oh my goodness. Look at this. Look at what you've won," said Mueller.
And that seemed to be a common theme among all the recipients. They credit the students.
"I get to come to school and inspire these kids. And instead of inspiring them, they inspire me," said the second grade teacher.
And the students notice...
"I think that she's very happy now that she got the Golden Apple because I can see that when she hugged somebody, she almost started to cry and that surprised me," said Natalie Fraire, second grade student.
Teaching is also, formally or informally, a team effort. Formally, the science team at West De Pere High School.
Clara Hedrick, Craig Zellner, Ashley Anthon, Kevin Olm, Rachelle Coopman, Joe Rukamp, Dana Lex, Jack Batten.
"Pretty exciting times, pretty special group of people that I get a chance to teach with. Exciting that not only they get recognized but our school gets recognized," said Jack Batten, West De Pere High School science team.
And walking in on band practice back at Washington Middle School to present band director Kevin Van Ess with his award brought the music to a halt.
"Kevin, on behalf of Shopko stores and our more than 1,700 employees here in Brown County, I'd like to present to you the Golden Apple Award for being such an amazing teacher. Thank you," said Mary Meixelsperger, Shopko.
"They keep me young and gray and losing hair. But that's what it's all about. Thank you very much," said Van Ess.
These teachers normally don't toot their own horns, but today they can.
First responders helped ring in the holidays at the 45th annual Howard-Suamico Christmas Parade.
Christmas is just two and half weeks away, and kids and families are getting into the holiday spirit.
Single digit temps around the area caused problems in the Fox Valley Saturday morning.
The frigid temperatures forced some area communities to cancel their weekend Christmas celebrations. But New London braved the cold for its annual Holiday of Wonder Parade.
Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's all of the injuries, but many Packers fans are saying "no thanks," to this weekend's Packers game.
With only a little snow on the ground in places, snowmobilers are ready for more. In the Lakewood area, trails are not yet open, but clubs are gearing up for an early start to the season.