School News

Urbandale Middle School Special Education Teacher Receives WHO-HD Golden Apple Award

View the WHO-HD TV 13 video here.


During an all-school assembly at Urbandale Middle School (UMS) on March 29, 2017, Special Education Teacher, Tina Richardson, soon realized she was not only an attendee, but the guest of honor. WHO-HD TV 13, IMT Insurance and Middendorf Insurance surprised Richardson with the March 2017 Golden Apple Award. The gymnasium was filled with students, colleagues and parents all coming together to applaud this well-deserved award for this expert-teacher who brings over 17 years of experience to her classroom.

Jodi Whitworth WHO-HD, Tina Richardson Award Recipient, Erin Wonsmos IMT, Claudia Howell Middendorf Insurance, Troy Neil IMT, Kim Nyborg IMT and Ben Chambers Middendorf Insurance.

The WHO-HD TV 13 Golden Apple Award, sponsored by IMT Insurance and Middendorf Insurance, is a special recognition given to one teacher throughout the community each month. Students write letters and emails sharing why they believe their teacher is so special, and of the thousands of letters WHO-HD receives each year one deserving teacher is honored monthly.

“It truly is a humbling experience to have students, parents, associates and colleagues take the time to recognize how dedicated I am to all students who sit in my classroom,” said Richardson. “Teaching special education is forming relationships with students, teaching the whole child and celebrating all progress big or small.”

Perhaps what makes this award even more significant is that the idea to nominate Richardson began with a UMS parent seeing the positive and life-changing impact Richardson was having on her child as a student in Richardson’s special education classroom. Once the nomination process began, students and associates eagerly joined in to submit heart-felt nominations about the numerous ways in which Richardson creates a welcoming, empowering and inclusive learning environment.

“Urbandale Middle School is so excited for Mrs. Richardson in receiving the Golden Apple Award,” said UMS Principal Loren DeKruyf. “She creates a wonderful learning environment and cares deeply for her students in their progress both academically and socially. Congratulations, Tina!”

Richardson’s focus on creating a culture of learning where all students feel like they belong, feel like they have purpose and feel like they can achieve their goals aligns with the district’s mission of teaching all and reaching all. The Urbandale Community School District (UCSD) congratulates Richardson on receiving this notable award and is thankful for the valuable contribution she provides UCSD students, families and colleagues.