Our Golden Apple Teacher this week comes from Ooltewah High

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OOLTEWAH, Tennessee (WDEF) – Michael Hankins answered the call to be a teacher a little later in life.

But in 2 years as an Exceptional Education Instructor at Ooltewah High School, he knows he’s right where he belongs.

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We caught up with Mr. Hankins on Spirit Day for this week’s Golden Apple Award.

“On behalf of food city and news £.12 I would like to present you with a golden apple teacher of the week award. Oh wow! [Notes:Applause]”

Ooltewah High Principal Angie Cass: Mr. Hankins is one of our most phenomenal teachers at Ooltewah high school. He has been with us for two years. And he has a huge impact on the students that he works with. And his colleagues and the admin team love the work that he is doing for us.

Michael: Today is spirit week here at Ooltewah high school. And we go full on. The special Ed department, the exceptional Ed department we do this to help our students see that we like to have fun. The school can be fun, you know not everything is like serious. And we like to make fun of ourselves.

“I want to talk to you for a couple of minutes before we get started.”

Michael: I was someone who started late in life as far as teaching and I had a calling. I work with kids before prior in a residential setting. And I want it to get to those kids before it was too late.

Brandon: He is basically a really good teacher. He had a good education platform. He was really spot on like I said before, he showed us how to be a good person, how to get a job, how to look at people in the eye.

Michael: this particular young man is remarkable. I mean he is the reason that I teach. Healing, I spoke about him to all of my friends, all of my family. I don’t say his name but I mean he impresses me. His work ethic, his desire, his struggle he doesn’t give up and he is the reason I teach.

Bridget: You need someone who is willing to reach out to those kids; that need that extra support. Willing to go the extra mile and has the energy to do it. Excitement and excitement behind it and just ready to jump in and willing to help all of our kids.

Michael: I don’t think there is a ceiling. I mean all of our kids have every option and every possibility. Do you know when a student has a disability that does mean that they are not going to succeed. It just means that they have to find another route to get around that hurdle.