BINGHAMTON, NY – Each month NewsChannel 34 is recognizing a teacher in our area with a Golden Apple Award.

NewsChannel34’s Jackie Gillis gives us an inside look at what it’s like to be a 2nd grade teacher at TJ Watson.

“Jen goes above and beyond everyday for her students. It’s great to see her get down on the floor with them and talk to them and really just meet all of their needs, all day everyday,” says Teacher’s Aide Kristina Jackson.

Jennifer Carrieri has been a teacher at T-J Watson for 5 years, starting out as a reading specialist and then moving to 2nd grade her 2nd year, teaching all subjects.

However, reading is still her favorite to teach.

“I think it opens up so many doors for kids and if you know how to read then you know how to do a lot of other subject areas and you’re able to hold a job and do things like that, definitely the most important that I love,” says Carrieri.

Originally from Long Island, Carrieri moved to Binghamton to get her masters in Literacy at Binghamton University and just never left.

“I was always that kid that had a fake chalk board and would teach to my stuffed animals and that whole thing,” says Carrieri.

She says over the past year COVID has presented them with challenges, but she is thankful to be back to fully in-person surrounded by her students and co-workers.

“I couldn’t do what I do without my 2nd grade team, the rest of the primary team, the administrators. That’s why I come, because I have such great support around me,” says Carrieri.

Kristina Jackson, an aide at T-J Watson, has worked alongside Carrieri for a few years now.

Jackson visited her classroom yesterday to let her know that she was the one that nominated her for the Golden Apple Award.

“Just for someone that you value so much and for them to reciprocate that is just like a wild feeling, I can’t even describe it,” says Carrieri.

Carrieri says her heart will always be in primary and she is so honored to be recognized for her hard work and dedication. At T-J Watson Elementary.

Nominate your favorite educator for a Golden Apple here.