French-tastic! Scott Ritter Named 2023 Crystal Apple Award Teacher of The Year

Photo Credit: Amber Lee

On this date January 17th, 2024 you couldn’t have scripted a better celebration for a teacher that is well respected not only within his classroom, but with his peers and the Topeka Public School community as Majic 107.7 and Prairie Band Casino awarded French Middle School teacher Scott Ritter our 2023 Crystal Apple Award Teacher of The Year.

Surrounded by his family, friends, and colleagues I had the honor to hear first hand about Scott “the person” and who better to share those stories than his parents as his mother is a retired educator and his father shared how Scott got out of college and didn’t know what direction his life was going so he joined AmeriCorps.

It was there where his teaching journey started in Detroit where his pupils knew someone who was a victim of inner city violence. He was so inspired that he came back to Kansas and devoted his time to education which he has been doing for over twenty years.

Photo Credit: French Middle School

Back in November, Scott Ritter received the Crystal Apple Award due to Audrey Pulley’s nomination letter as he taught all three of her children (2 boys, 1 girl) while her son Colton is currently a student in his class. As a sixth grader, Colton managed tennis and got to know him because of his brother as Mr. Ritter was thrilled to have him, and last spring, Colton went from manager to tournament champion.

Mr. Ritter is very involved in his teaching, so even when Colton’s grades began to suffer, he jumped in to help him get back on track out of concern for his pupils’ best interests.

However, tragedy struck Audry’s family Scott Ritter went above and beyond to see how they were doing and to offer any support he could which lead Audrey to submit a letter to us to nominate him for the Crystal Apple Award.

Here’s an excerpt of her letter:

When you have your son’s teacher asking how you are and how the kids are, it’s heartwarming. Not everyone does that.  He then took the time for several weeks to pull him aside and just check on him.  I think Colton needed that and I’ll never be able to repay his kindness. The school gives out PRIDE awards every month. Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Engagement. 

So, the principal Mrs. Hoffman along with the staff helped us plan a celebration in Scott’s honor and the look on his face as we walked along with representatives from Prairie Band Casino into the gymnasium to make the presentation was beyond priceless which made him very emotional. Also, French Middle School was presented with a check for $1,000.

Educators like Scott Ritter are the exact teachers we are looking for with the Crystal Apple Award and like I told Audry if you didn’t send us that email we wouldn’t have found “French-tastic” teachers like him.

Do you have a favorite teacher, office administrator, principal or coach that deserves the Crystal Apple Award? If so, we would love to hear from you by sending us an email at [email protected] and just maybe your nominee could be our next Crystal Apple Award Teacher of The Year for 2024!