Bloomfield High School Senior Will Benton and more than 50 of his closest friends were in on our surprise. All of us snuck into Mrs. Arber's classroom and caught her off guard.
Melissa is the Math Department Chair. She is great with technology and she challenges her kids. But what makes her special is the way she connects with students. Will says "She just feels like your friend really while she's teaching. And she doesn't really feel like a teacher normally does. She just comes right up to you and she talks to you and you feel like you can talk to her."
Principal Nancy Gerstner says Melissa exemplifies everything that is wonderful about the profession. "She believes in her students and they know that. She connects with them in personal ways and cares about their lives and they appreciate that."
Melissa was speechless when we surprised her. "It means a lot that they're all here and that they're all crying like I am so I'm not alone. But it means a lot. I don't even know what to say. I could stand up their and lecture, lecture, lecture but if they don't know that you care it's just gonna go in one ear and out the other. I'm thankful to be here, they've all been a help to me too."
Melissa Arber is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. You can read the letter we got from Will nominating her below.
Dear Channel 8,
Melissa Arber is a compassionate, cheerful and always understandable teacher in the Bloomfield Central School District. My main experiences with Mrs. Arber include Math AB in grade 9 (no longer teaching) and IB Math Studies in grade 11, with some Statistics in grade 12.
Nearly without fail, Arber's teaching techniques always come across clearly, a combination of her outstanding ability to orate her lessons, adding notes of understanding while students write down notes.
Arber is also one of the few teachers who, seemingly out of natural ability, is able to speak and present notes at the same time, yet not allow any student to miss a vital piece of information.
She is resourceful as well, using an on-screen calculator to assist all types of learners, with aid of the Smartboard. Arber is also active outside of the classroom within the school community, acting as class advisor for the class of 2010.
Bloomfield HS Senior