KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  After receiving hundreds of nominations, the four 2012 Crystal Apple Winners have been chosen!

*Jan Berghaus from Shawnee Mission West High School

*Felicia Safir from Hogan Prep Middle School

*Kristin Playter from Raytown High School

*Dr. Philip Hickman from Genesis Promise Academy

(Watch the videos below of the teachers receiving their awards during the school assemblies)

Jan Berghaus is a math teacher, the chairman of the math department, and has been an educator for 31 years. She was nominated by Michael Thacker and his mother, Sue. Thacker was a student who says it was Mrs. Berghaus who helped him through a difficult time and got him back on track academically.

Felicia Safir is a music teacher, who formed a drum line and gospel choir at the school and found music equipment at pawn shops because the school had so little of it. She is known as a mentor and teacher who provides leadership and gives items to students who cannot afford them. “Some kids do not have white shirts and black pants to wear to the concerts. Mrs. Safir’s church members donate choir uniforms, school uniforms, hats, coats, gloves, food and cookies,” the nomination form says.

Kristin Playter is a special education teacher. Those who know her and nominated her say she brought many ideas to the school. She helped students with their vision to start a coffee shop, which is now named Java Jays. She started Special Olympics for her students. They participate in bowling, basketball, track and field.

Dr. Philip Hickman is the Director of Education and Assistant Superintendent at Genesis Promise Academy. He was nominated because of the successful changes he made to the school, which resulted in drastic improvements in the students’ academic achievements. He helped rebuild the school culture around the philosophy of the “4 Rs” – Respect, Responsiveness, Resourceful and Responsibility.

FOX 4 created the Crystal Apple Award 17 years ago, to recognize outstanding Kansas City educators. Since its inception, FOX 4 has honored more than 110 teachers who dedicate themselves as true mentors to the students they teach.  And although only four teachers receive the award each year, thousands more have been given the gift of seeing how much they are appreciated when they receive a copy of their nomination.

Crystal Apple winners will be announced during the 6:00 a.m. hour on the FOX 4 Morning Show on April 26, 27, 30, and May 1 and will then be found on fox4kc.com.

Each of the winners will receive two round trip Southwest Airlines tickets, as well as gifts from Price Chopper and Starwood Hotel Group.

Click here to read the Crystal Apple rules and nomination form.

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