By JANET KEHRES
Daily Globe Correspondent
SHELBY- Katie Rietschlin is a happy, outstanding teacher at Sacred Heart School. She teaches the fifth and sixth grade at the school. While attending Ohio State University she was undecided what to major in until she was asked to volunteer at Sacred Heart School. She fell in love with working with the children and watching them learn. Recently she was nominated and received the Golden Apple Award through the Diocese of Toledo. The Golden Apple Award was established to honor outstanding individuals who devote their lives to teaching at Catholic schools. This award is given to seven preschool and /or elementary school teachers and two secondary teachers each year throughout the Diocese of Toledo.
There are strict requirements that the candidate must meet. They must be a practicing Catholic, full-time teacher with a minimum of 3 years experience in the school at which they are currently teaching, nominated by a teacher, student or parent and hold a valid license or certification to fulfill both diocesan and state requirements.
Once a teacher is nominated, they must write an essay about their ministry at their school, and the principal and pastor must write letters of recommendation about the nominated teacher. There is a committee at the Diocese that selects from all of the teachers that are nominated and the competition is made up of highly dedicated individuals.
The Golden Apple Award is only awarded to a small percentage of teachers that are nominated.
Lisa Myers, Principal of Sacred Heart School stated, “We are truly blessed to have Ms. Rietschlin minister at Sacred Heart School. She is an outstanding role model for our students academically and spiritually.”
Rietschlin also directs the Youth Choir. She is in a folk choir at the church and RCIA Coordinator, and she and her father (Luke) have a band.
She is involved in many service projects which includes a fundraiser each year for the “Socks for Soldiers.”
She has taken a group of middle school students to Hope Lodge to volunteer. Hope Lodge is a home away from home for cancer patients. The students do tasks around the lodge such as clean out cupboards and any task that is needed to be done.
Rietschlin stated the best part of teaching is connecting with the students and seeing them a couple of years later when they relate an activity they did in class that made a great memory.
The little odds and ends that a teacher must do to prepare lesson plans or grade papers after class is her least favorite part of teaching because it lacks the interaction with the students.
Katie is a warm, positive role model for her students and it shows with the respect from her students that she is given in her classes.