Golden Apple: Michael Barnes 06/2010

By Scott Sarvay

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 7, 2010 at 5:46 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - For 43 years, Michael Barnes has taught second grade at Saint Jude's.

Golden Apple Award winner Michael Barnes says, “The greatest blessing is you, the students. Thank you!”

Dozens of former students who are now parents of current students took the time to attend the award ceremony. They say they wouldn't miss it for the world. Mr. Barnes is thought of as a legend at Saint Judes'.

Former student Karen Ewing says, “Tears are starting to flow already. But you loved him as much as i did.”

Jennifer Blomquist: “So, you're going to miss him?”

Hannah: “Yeah, I’m really gonna miss him. He did a great job teaching me in my math and reading. He really... I really improved from him.”

Another former student Melissa Harness says, “He touched everybody's hearts. No matter if you had him as a teacher or if you didn't. If you worked with him, no matter what, he just touched everybody's hearts.”

Of all the beautiful memories they hold of Mr. Barnes, everyone said Mr. Barnes' infamous storytelling is what they’ll miss most. He creatively concocted a series of adventures experienced by a dog named Woofus and a flea named Woosel.

Mr. Barnes said, “Every Friday we tell a Woofus story and they look forward to it every Friday and if I didn't happen to be there, that Monday, bright and early we have a Woofus story.

And speaking of dogs, Mr. Barnes now has a guide dog named Felda who has quickly become his best friend as he starts a new chapter in his life.

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