Desert Ridge eighth-grade language arts teacher Annie Syed was surprised to learn she won the 2021 Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award while in front of her class last week.
“It was such an epic moment. I am so grateful that my students were there to witness it when they came in to share the surprise,” Syed explained. “I am over the moon to be accepted for this award. It means a lot to be recognized.”
Syed and six other middle school teachers across New Mexico were presented the award. The Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico website says, “Those who are recognized are illustrative of the many talented and skilled professionals working hard every day to inspire students in New Mexico classrooms.”
“I just want parents to know that I am able to do what I do because of their trust and support; it’s really a it-takes-a-village effort in these challenging times,” Syed said. “Furthermore, I am able to do what I do because I have a very supportive department and administration.”
Up to seven teachers are presented the award each year, with awards rotating through different school levels every three years.
Syed says her curricular vision is guided by a quote from Kurt Hahn, which reads, “I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion.”