ENDICOTT, NY – This month’s Golden Apple award goes to a teacher whose number one goal is making sure her students feel confident and comfortable in the classroom every day.

While Kelli Krieger has lived here for 20 years and been an English teacher at Union-Endicott High School for 19 years, she’s originally from Los Angeles.

Her husband is a retired Military officer, so she’s had the opportunity to teach in places like California and Tennessee, which she says while it was interesting, it comes with a lot of adapting.

“For example- here we have 40 minute periods and other places it’s 60 minute periods or even block scheduling, so it’s very different. I’ve been here a long time, so I like it here,” says Krieger.

Krieger wasn’t sure if she’s always wanted to be a teacher, but it’s definitely where she belongs now. When asked what her favorite part about coming to U-E-H-S was, her answer was brief, the students.

“Just being able to see them everyday and listen to them, learn about them and watch them as they grow. Most of my classes are senior classes and they’re about to go out to the world so I feel proud to be part of that,” says Krieger.

Krieger was nominated a few times for this award, and 2 of the nominations actually came from students of hers. Ewoma Amata was one of them, she has had Mrs Krieger for many classes.

“Mrs Krieger is just the sunshine of the school. She’s funny, she’s witty, another thing she’s very down to earth. She doesn’t make you feel like you can’t come to her just because she’s an authority figure, she’s a friend as well as a teacher,” says Amata.

Krieger teaches English 9 honors, AP language, graphic novels, and detective fiction.

On top of that about every 2 weeks she holds a “Lunch with Kriegs,” where anyone is welcome to come, eat food, and discuss matters that mean a lot to them.

“To help them understand that their opinion and experience matters. It takes work to get them to feel confident, and part of that is about building a community within the class room, so I work pretty hard on that pretty much everyday,” says Krieger.

Alaina Medionte is another student that nominated Krieger for the award saying that she deserves to be recognized.

“I think everyone loves Mrs Krieger because she really makes the learning environment like you feel comfortable in there so you can express your own opinions because she wants you to express your own opinions,” says Medionte.

Krieger also advises 4 clubs, the Gay Straight Alliance, Equity Team, Girl up and Tea Club. She wants to thank the community for providing her with all these possibilities.

“Everything that I’m able to do is because of building community with the students but also with the actual Endicott community. Like I said, all the food and I don’t know if you noticed in the back of the room there is a big snack box- everything is provided by the community,” says Krieger.

She adds that she doesn’t plan on leaving here anytime soon.

Nominate your favorite teacher for a Golden Apple Award here.