(Top) Marilyn Adamson reads with her Jackson Township Elementary second-graders in the classroom.
(Bottom) Jackson Township Elementary second-grade teacher Marilyn Adamson, is interviewed by Mark Allen at the school.
Contest officials kept Clay County's 2006 WTHI-TV 10 Golden Apple Award winner, the staff and students at Jackson Township Elementary completely in the dark about this year's winner.
"I'm pretty excited to be able to give this award to someone that I personally know of their good work," WTHI-TV 10 news anchor Mark Allen said. He told the crowd in the school's gymnasium that his family members had been taught by this person and he knew her from church. "This year's Golden Apple winner is Marilyn Adamson."
The announcement caused an immediate standing ovation from students and staff, while Adamson sat stunned for a moment before walking to the podium.
"That Jeff (Fritz), he's pretty sneaky. I didn't have a clue about this," she said during her emotional acceptance speech. "Since first grade I knew I wanted to be a teacher. This is all I've ever wanted to do. I accept this award on behalf of the students, teachers and staff at Jackson Township Elementary. Without the wonderful support staff here at Jackson Township Elementary, I wouldn't be able to do my job."
Since graduating from Indiana State University, Adamson has challenged the minds of her students for 31 years to become the best they can without a thought of recognition for the work she does.
"Teaching is her life. She loves her students as if they were her own children," said Joanna Clarke, Adamson's mother. "She's excited each and every day to come to school. Marilyn's always looking for new ways to teach."
Joyce Strange, Adamson's sister, took off from work to be with her sister.
"She's a true inspiration to everyone around her," Strange said. "She inspired my daughter to become a teacher. Jodee was upset that she was unable to leave her third-grade class in Avon to be here."
Adamson was chosen from more than 200 nominees to become one of this year's five Golden Apple winners. She will be recognized with the other winners from the Wabash Valley at a reception/program beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at Ivy Tech, Terre Haute..
"This is such an honor for our school. Jackson Township Elementary is the best place to work," Adamson said. "Everyone here is working to make a difference in students' lives. We're preparing each student for their lifetime, not just the current school year."