Our News 8 Golden Apple Award winner was nominated by the more than 130 students and staff on Sixth Grade Red Team at Willink Middle School In Webster. Watch as we surprise Math Teacher Maria Rigillo.
Willink Middle School Principal Brian Neenan had a great idea. Since all the students and teachers on the Sixth Grade Red Team nominated Maria Rigillo they should all be in on the surprised. So he had them all sneak into the hallway outside her classroom. And then he called her out of her classroom. It was great!
Maria Rigillo is well known in Webster. She's active in the community and her church. She's co-President of the Webster Teachers Association and she's been an educator for 26 years. "I just love teaching. I've always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was yea big."
Other teachers love Maria because she's a leader. ELA Teacher Mary Jo Terhaar says "She's a mentor to all of the staff and all of the students."
Social Studies Teacher Lisa Tait says "She's such an amazing person, she is a friend to everyone."
"She's just a solid, solid person" says Science Teacher Mary Vick. "And she's the go to person for everybody, staff, students, parents, everybody."
Kids like 6th Grader Amanda Nelson love Ms. Rigillo because she's got spunk! "I like the way she teaches, she's always very peppy and happy. She's a very good teacher."
But Maria says she gets just as much back from her students as she gives. "They keep me young! They make me age but they keep me young. Everyday when you walk in and you see the light go off, or the sparkle in their eyes, or they just get so enthusiastic."
Maria Rigillo is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. You can read the letters we received nominating her below.
Dear Channel 8,
Maria Rigillo is a name well-known throughout the Webster Central School District. The go to person for both students and staff, Ms. Rigillo has been a dedicated teacher for 25 years. In addition to teaching sixth grade Math, Ms. Rigillo can be found helping students in all curricular areas during study halls, after school and even her lunchtime.
She is a student council advisor and the co-creator/advisor of The Willink Morning Show. You are sure to see Ms. Rigillo at ALL school events supporting and cheering on all students. Ms. Rigillo is an active participant in Webster's Summer Academy, Excel program and mentors both students and staff.
Certified in both elementary and secondary foreign language, Ms. Rigillo is a jack of all trades. As if Ms. Rigillo is not busy enough, she also has been the co-president of the Webster Teachers' Association for the past six years.
Always going above and beyond and nurturing by nature, Ms. Rigillo is loved by all. Her sense of humor, passion for teaching and learning, and creative personality are contagious. Her strong connection with current and former students, their families, and our staff make Ms. Rigillo a perfect recipient for the Golden Apple award.
The Teachers of 6th Grade Red Team, Willink Middle School
Dear Channel 8,
Ms. Rigillo has been my teacher for quite some time now and I believe she's an excellent choice for the Golden Apple Award. Throughout this year I have learned methods in Math that I couldn't have dreamed of learning last year.
Ms. Rigillo always has a smile on her face when I enter the room and is always eager to start the class. She is an energetic, intelligent and fun teacher that teaches everyone something new each day. Thanks to Ms. Rigillo I now understand Math better than I did my previous years.
Ms. Rigillo is a phenomenal, smart, courteous and kind mathematician and I am thankful she's my Math teacher. She is incredible in every way and without a doubt deserves the Golden Apple Award.
Written on behalf of 6th Graders at Willink Middle School