GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — If you’ve been a teacher for more than two decades, you can safely say you’ve made an impact on thousands of kids’ lives. Diane Schaneman has been teaching for 22 years, and she’s our November School District 51 Golden Apple winner.

Ms. Schaneman first became part of the D51 family as a student at Bookcliff Middle School. After graduating from Central High School, she got her teaching degree locally as well – at Colorado Mesa University back when it was still a state college. 

As the mother of three girls, she started her teaching career at her daughter’s school, Thunder Mountain Elementary. She said, “I actually had my daughter in my student teaching class. You would never know it, because she didn’t call me Mom.”

More than 20 years later, Ms. Schaneman is still teaching at Thunder Mountain. A lot has changed over those last 20 years. Families have changed, technology has changed, and while the technology changes come with a learning curve, it’s important to embrace it. She said, “I think for kids it’s very difficult to have school without that technology because they are so well versed with it. They are born with some sort of derive and knowledge of those devices. It is a challenge for teachers to keep it interesting.”

After all her time in the classroom, her goal for the kids remains the same. “My goal is for them to come out to be good human beings. They need to do their job. My kids hear me say this all the time, do your job, be kind to others, be a good human, do what’s right even when no one’s looking.”

That’s actually great life advice too. When you can be anything, be kind.