ALBERT LEA, Minn. - 5th-grade teacher at Lakeview Elementary School, Matthew Bitz, has been teaching for 6 years.
He was nominated for a Golden Apple because of his dedication to his students and meeting them where they're at to help them be successful in and out of the classroom.
"He's very caring and he likes to know if his students are doing good and what he can do to help and make it better," explains one of his students, Kaitlynn Gallardo.
Mr. Bitz thinks a successful teaching philosophy is all about making connections.
"I'm a football coach as well, so building those connections on the football field, building those connections at school really mean a lot to know that the students know that I care about them. That way they put forth the best effort that I want from them in order for them to meet their fullest potential," he says.