2023 Golden Apple Award Finalists

Amie Walker

Amie Walker of Davis is a 20-year teacher, who’s spent the last six years at Bloom Elementary, teaching Kindergarten. A lifelong learner, Amie enjoys sharing her excitement for learning with her students. She likes to challenge students but encourages them to work together to achieve goals if something feels too hard. One way Amie builds relationships with students’ families while also bringing awareness to students and helping them give to the community is through her “Chase the Chill” program. Students gather warm winter gear, make tags with words of encouragement, then get together on a weekend to distribute items throughout downtown Rockford. Amie uses restorative practices and proactive circles in to celebrate, discuss differences and ask questions in a safe environment. She believes “if I can encourage my students to ask questions and learn from one another, we can become a beautiful diverse classroom family.” Amie shared an example of when a boy in her class who had been adopted by two women had one mom attend a field trip with the class, then had the other mom join the class as a Mystery Reader later in the year. Students were confused. Rather than brushing it off, Amie pulled a circle to remind them how family structures differ and that “it doesn’t matter what your family looks like; being loved is what makes you family … Diversity in my classroom makes it so special and a place where students can grow empathy.”  Principal Pati Strehl wrote that Amie “is always my go to when I need an example of excellence in teaching. No matter if it is behavioral, social or academic, Mrs. Walker meets the needs of her students and helps them excel.” One classroom observer liked how she was “constantly praising students and creating a positive atmosphere through songs, activity and enthusiasm.” Another classroom observer said “What an enthusiastic and fun teacher. Students seemed excited to participate and eager to learn.” Amie says her enthusiastic attitude comes from her gratitude and “passion for teaching.” She ends each class day with these words: “Learn to listen to one another, listen to learn about one another, and lead with love in all we do.”