Golden Apple: Cathy Zeigler - 01/2009

By Jennifer Blomquist

June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 28, 2009 at 6:00 PM EDT

A standing ovation and thunderous applause... and tears from teacher Cathy Zeigler after learning she'd won the award.

" I don't know how to explain what a joy it is to come to work every day. I just love coming and seeing the kids grow up from kindergarten all the way to eighth grade. I love watching them grow," says Zeigler.

Surrounded by her family, including her 9-day-old grandson, Luke, Mrs. Zeigler humbly accepted the award. She's been in the classroom for 23 years - 21 of them at Saint Jude's. She says she can't imagine teaching without prayer.

"That's the greatest thing," Zeigler added, " I said everything that we have came from God and I said we can talk about God. We thank Him all the time and I said it's just the most important part of life... is God and what He's given us and I said to be able to talk about that and you know, relate everything to Him, is wonderful."

Sisters Ariana, Grace and Emma nominated Mrs. Zeigler for the award.

Grace comments, "She's really close in our heart, and like, one of our favorite teachers that we have. And she makes us feel comfortable in the classroom and when we're sick, she makes us feel better."

The girls have two younger sisters at home... not old enough for school yet. But when they are, they're sure Mrs. Zeigler will be their favorite as well.

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