GOLDEN APPLE: October 2013 Winner

For one central Iowa teacher, there simply are not enough hours in the day.  She spends at least 12 hours each day at school and inspires her students to be involved as well.

Love is one word that students at Adel High School are not shy to use about the October winner of the Golden Apple award.

“I hope she never retires because I really love her,” said student Megan Koch.

“We all need her and we all love her,” said student Mackenzie Fuller.

“I want to thank you all.  You make my days very interesting,” said Della Weems, Golden Apple winner.

“Wow.  I don’t know what to say.  This is probably, in Iowa, one of the biggest recognitions that I think teachers get, that the public knows about.  It’s pretty humbling to be the one who got it this year, this month,” Weems said.

Della Weems has been a literature teacher at Adel High School for over 20 years.  She has led countless clubs and extracurricular activities, directed plays and raised six children of her own.

“She’s an inspiration to us all and every time I come in the building, she is here.  I think she lives here,” said previous Golden Apple winner Charity Miller.

Her classroom is filled with books, papers and inspiration.

“It’s a place you can come and feel at home, feel like you can talk about anything,” said student Samuel Freestone.

Mrs. Weems chose to teach literature because it allows her to teach her students more than just what is written in the books.

“It changed your perspective of the world, how you see it and it stops you from only thinking about yourself,” Freestone said.

Weems is not only a success in the classroom, but at home as well.  Her six children grew up and chased their dreams of becoming educators, scientists and farmers.  But she is quick to tell you that she has not done all of this on her own.

“Well, I’d like to thank Darrell, my husband, he has been a great support in all that I do and my kids, who have made such a difference.  The most important thing I think can happen to a person is that you’re always learning and I am surrounded by people who are teaching me lessons all the time,” Weems said.

“She is a magnificent woman and how she does what she does, I don’t know,” said husband Darrell Weems.

“She has the right focus.  She is dedicated to kids whether at school or our own kids and that is where the focus should be for a teacher.  The school and the kids is what Della does,” Weems said.

Watch the extended version of Della Weems' interview below.

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