MURSD First Golden Apple Award Goes To……


Rina Manser – Miscoe Hill 6th Grade Teacher

Miscoe Hill 6th grade teacher Rina Manser is the very first recipient of the Mendon-Upton Regional School District Golden Apple Award. This outstanding educator was presented the award by the Regional School Committee at Monday night’s meeting.

The Golden Apple Award is a way for the district to acknowledge publically an outstanding staff member who goes above and beyond expectations to make a huge difference in the lives of students and parents. The Golden Apple is awarded to a staff member who performs their job with creativity, enthusiasm, and determination; someone who partners with other staff, administration, parents and students to achieve excellence in their job.

School Committee Member Diane Duncan is pleased the district is now offering the community a way to acknowledge teachers and staff in the district. “I believe that having a voice is a powerful tool. It helps our district focus on the good. To focus on those staff members, those stories of success that collectively make our school outstanding,” she said.

Duncan said the committee was blown away by all the nominations. “There were over 50 nominations for this first submission,” she said.

“Some individuals received multiple nominations but the majority of the nominations were testimonies to individual teachers and staff, from all four of our schools, who are making a huge impact in the lives of students and families,” said Duncan.

“The stories were moving, heartfelt, very impactful. It gave all of the members of the school committee a glimpse into all of the good that is happening,” said Duncan. “It made choosing one overall recipient truly challenging,” she said.

Below are highlights from the nominations submitted for Manser:

  • “She embodies the phrase going above and beyond in every aspect of her teaching profession.”
  • “She generously has shared her insights, observations, and acquired knowledge in lengthy personal emails which connect me to my son, enlighten me on his uniqueness, and have empowered him down new paths that move him forward in his education.”
  • “Her emails to me were often accompanied with articles which would educate and explain learning concerns that she was questioning regarding my son. I received on average two to three lengthy emails each week. Many of them sent late at night suggesting to me her tireless devotion. I am forever indebted to her for my son’s needs.”
  • “She’s a teacher who takes to the time to figure out how each student ticks and then alters their environment to personalize their learning to ensure success.”
  • “She molds her classroom to help fit my child versus trying to change my individual child’s learning style to meet her needs.”
  • “She created a safe space for my son where he could grow and succeed personally, socially, and academically. Our family will always be grateful to her.”
  • “When I saw this nomination form I instantly thought of this teacher.”

Duncan said, “I can echo and bear witness to all of the previously mentioned comments, she is truly an outstanding educator and if that’s not enough, she is truly one of the kindest people I know.”

“We applaud her dedication, creativity, and pursuit of education,” Duncan said.



  1. Congratulations to a truly deserving educator. Her innovative educational strategies have catapulted my son to academic success.

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