Golden Apple – April 2019

Dr. Lela Crowder


Katie Linkner

Tim Monihan from Farmers Insurance pictured next to this month’s Golden Apple winner, Dr. Lela Crowder. Crowder has been selected for this award by previous winner, Rick Wright, because he thought she had gone above and beyond what other teachers do to make a newcomer feel welcome.

English teacher Dr. Lela Crowder is the winner of April’s Golden Apple award sponsored by Tim Monihan and Farmers Insurance.

Crowder has been teaching for 22 years and has been at the Mill since 2002. Crowder teaches an SAT preparatory class, 11h grade college prep American Literature and Composition, and AP Language.

“She can, on one hand, teach this high level to this AP group, and then she can change gears to an SAT prep class and still make it meaningful to those kids,” previous winner and media specialist Rick Wright said.

Crowder likes to take topics that may seem daunting and break them down so that way it’s easy for her students to comprehend. She likes to make the environment seem casual, tell stories, and share her love of writers, stories, and language.

“English is kind of like a translation of life, because they’re the stories that people tell to get through the day,” Crowder said. “It’s just kind of the way that we live, but people put it on paper. It’s people telling stories from the past that help us to get through the days that we live now.”

I love taking the thing that I love most and sharing it with other people.

— Golden Apple recipient Dr. Lela Crowder

Rather than just one work of literature, Crowder loves a particular author: Nathaniel Hawthorne. She enjoys the time period of Dark Romanticism and the style with which he writes it in.

In addition to her appreciation of writing, Crowder also likes to shop, sing a unique vocal genre called Sacred Harp, and travel to faraway places such as Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria, but also won’t hesitate to go for a good road trip.

Though Crowder loves her numerous and unique hobbies, she ultimately has a heart for teaching. She’s always had an interest for this career and isn’t afraid to share that interest with others.

“I always wanted to be a teacher,” Crowder said. “I enjoy pretty much everything about teaching. I really love English. That’s what I love most, and I love taking the thing that I love most and sharing it with other people.”

Crowder plans to spend the $100 award provided by Monihan and Farmers Insurance on school supplies, including new paper and markers, as well as masking tape for a fun project her class does during the year.