Golden Apple: Paul Marinko - 01/2010

By Scott Sarvay

June 18, 2010 Updated Jan 27, 2010 at 6:56 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A small school in downtown Fort Wayne has made a huge difference in the life of a local student.

Years later, she returns to Saint Paul's Lutheran School where one caring teacher made it all happen.

I was able to go to him with any problem - whether it was school or home-related. He always helped me. And to this day, whether by e-mail or phone, I still keep in touch with him. He's a very important part of my life and I will continue to keep in touch with him when I leave for college next year. I thank you so much, Mr. Marinko.

Paul Marinko/Golden Apple Award: You are an exemplary student from where you came and to the type of life service that you are about to present to the rest of the world. It is a privilege to have been your teacher. Thank you.

Danielle Shane is now a senior at Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne. She's known Mr. Marinko since the fourth grade. For years, she's wanted him to be honored with the Golden Apple Award for all that he's done for her. But he says, it's really him who should be thanking her.

Mr. Marinko: It's a daily gift. It's not about, you know, waiting for that one student you truly affected to come back and say 'thank you.' It's about every day... teaching the children to take care of one another.

Mr. Marinko has been teaching for 22 years in the Lutheran school system - the last ten here at St. Paul's where he says it's more like one big family than a school. In some ways, literally for him as his wife teaches here and 3 of his 4 children attend class here. He's humbled by the award, but also knows that St. Paul's is a very special place.

Mr. Marinko: Keep us in your prayers because we are a vital part children's lives in Fort Wayne... we have a lot to offer.

The Golden Apple Award honors teachers that are changing young people for the better every day, and rewards outstanding teachers and the schools that allow them to flourish. Each month Indiana's NewsCenter chooses a winner and features them in our newscasts.

If you’d like to nominate someone to receive the next Golden Apple Award click here.

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