WMU News

Golden Apple Awards presented to outstanding educators

October 9, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- A new award designed to honor outstanding educators will be presented next month to three distinguished Michigan educators by Western Michigan University's College of Education Alumni Society.

The first Golden Apple Awards winners are Bettie L. Goodman of Flint, Patricia Reeves of Vicksburg and John M. Gazella of Owosso.

The awards, which will be an annual honor for educators, will be presented at an inaugural ceremony and dinner on Friday, Oct. 16, in the Fetzer Center on the WMU campus in conjunction with the University's Homecoming celebration. For reservations, call Karin Carl at 616 387-2965.

Goodman, who teaches business and computer classes, has distinguished herself as a professor at Flint's Mott Community College and has been active in her profession both on the national and international levels.

She has served as a national representative to the Societe Internationale pour l'Enseignement Commercial, centered in Switzerland, and is actively involved in the United States chapter of the International Society for Business Education.

Goodman has made presentations to teachers in China, had an article printed in a society for business teachers publication in the United Kingdom and has been a presenter and taken part in numerous conferences both nationally and abroad.

At Mott Community College, she has been singled out for her impact on students, her commitment to the college and her innovative use of technology, which has been the subject of local newscasts.

As superintendent of Vicksburg Community Schools, Reeves is known for her boundless energy, leadership, expertise and initiatives. As a teacher, administrator and now as superintendent, she has been active in curriculum planning, staff development, technology, literacy and other issues. A former elementary classroom teacher, Reeves is credited with developing Vicksburg Schools' Gifted and Talented Program and served as director of curriculum and assistant superintendent before moving into the district's top post. Her success as an educational leader also has been attributed to her ability to foresee potential problems, challenges and opportunities.

Reeves is known for her tactful, yet straight-forward approach to difficult situations. Her leadership on many district-wide committees has resulted in numerous financial gains and program opportunities for the school system.

Gazella, a 1968 WMU graduate, has been a Corunna Public Schools English teacher for 30 years. During that time, he has left a lasting impression on many students.

Gazella has been commended for his dedication and commitment to all students, his superior teaching abilities and the level of care with which he approaches his job. He is known for upholding high ethical standards, while setting equally high standards for students and helping them think creatively.

Gazella's enthusiasm has inspired some of his students to also become teachers. Former students say that he consistently encouraged them to respect themselves and never give up on their goals.

His dedication extends beyond the classroom and onto the playing field. Gazella has served as football coach for 29 years, track coach for 18 years and has volunteered at hundreds of athletic events.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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