Golden Apple: Kris Thiele 11/2011

By Maureen Mespell

November 30, 2011 Updated Nov 30, 2011 at 6:53 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Special education teacher at Maple Creek Middle School in Fort Wayne is this month's Golden Apple Award recipient.

Jennifer Blomquist reads the nominating letter for Kris Thiele and explains why she's admired for her hard work in the classroom and her courage as she battles cancer.

In the nominating letter written by Brianna Seibel, she says, “She was one of my special education resource teachers here at school when I was in 8th grade. She was always there to support me with my school work or to help me with a problem. I am amazed that she is still able to support her current and former students while battling cancer. She is my role model and hero and she inspires me so much that I want to be a special education teacher just like her when I graduate from college.”

Kris Thiele shed tears as she walked up to receive her award humbled by the recognition and the support of all those around her after being diagnosed with cancer two years ago.

Thiele says, “I've had the most caring support from Maple Creek staff, Maple Creek students, kind notes, letters, cards even just in the classroom and hallways. I just appreciate all that you do and all the support you've given me. Thank you.”

“She's just kind to everybody and she's always been there for every kid,” says Brianna Seibel. “And even if you have a problem, you can just go to her even if it's not with school or anything she's just always there for anybody.”

A 10 year teaching veteran, Mrs. Thiele says her students are a wonderful blessing. She says she's too busy focusing on them and her own two children to dwell on her illness. Instead, she's looking ahead and moving forward.

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