Walker honored with Golden Apple


The Danny Lindsley Gymnasium at Newton County Elementary School was filled to capacity by students and staff recently at a "Jazz It Up for Heart" assembly.

With the NCES campus going red for Heart Awareness on this day, very few were suspicious as the title of the assembly moved to "Jazz It Up For A Heart," complete with the members of the Cougar Pride Newton County High School Band performing, "When the Saints Go Marching In," welcoming students and staff to the event.

However, the Golden Apple Award sponsors and officials were on campus to announce the February Golden Apple Award winner as Newton County Elementary School's Leah Walker, a third grade teacher.

Leah Walker attended Mississippi State University and has been in the teaching profession for 17 years.  "Many people inspired me to become a teacher including my mother and grandmother (both were teachers), Mrs. Jeanette Thrash, and Mrs. Carol Shackelford."

Leah says her favorite part about teaching is watching students accomplish things they did not realize they could; thus fueling her passion to return to the classroom daily and witnessing each student meet their potential.  February's Golden Apple Award winner loves to read and explore new places with her family in her spare time.  She is married to Ricky Walker, and they have 2 children, Jordan (23) and Ali Grace (17).

Terry Dale Cruze of Mississippi State University-Meridian gave the audience clues as to the winner of the February Golden Apple Award, until it became apparent that Walker was the recipient.