First-grade teacher Clarissa Owen receives Crystal Apple award

MADISON – Clarissa Owen, a first-grade teacher at Madison Elementary School, recently received the Crystal Apple award from WAY-FM.

Clarissa Owen received the Crystal Apple award. She teaches first-graders at Madison Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Clarissa Owen received the Crystal Apple award. She teaches first-graders at Madison Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

WAY-FM allows parents and students to nominate teachers for exceptional service.

Owen was completely surprised with the award on Oct. 29 when representatives from WAY-FM and award sponsor Family Security Credit Union came to her classroom, along with Madison Elementary Principal Dr. Tim Scott and Assistant Principal Britt Lovelace.

Student Caleb Wortham and his mother Rebecca Wortham also attended the presentation. The Worthams nominated Owen for her continuous support after Caleb became severely ill on the third day of school. He is recovering from HSP or Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, a serious autoimmune disorder.

“Ms. Owen called every day about Caleb in both hospitals, sent balloons and cards … and visited our house,” Rebecca Wortham said. “She showed a PowerPoint to the class about Caleb’s disease.”

Owen thought everyone was there for an evaluation. “I was thrilled and relieved when I was told that I had been awarded the Crystal Apple. It was a lovely surprise and hard to believe.”

Owned earned degrees from Sheffield University in England for history and government and from Athens State University in early childhood education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. With colleague Susan Arnold, Owen mentors NBCT candidates.

“My family has lived in Madison since 1988. My late  husband transferred from Pennsylvania to Redstone Arsenal as a civilian employee with the Army,” Owen said.

Owen has been teaching since 1992 and previously worked for National Geographic in Washington D.C. She also taught kindergartners at West Madison Elementary School.

“I have three grown sons, Greg, Robert and David, who work at Bassco CastStone in Elkmont,” she said. “I’m the proud grandmother of Baylor Owen, five months old, the daughter of David and Cortney Owen.”

Away from school, Owen enjoys gardening, reading and attending education conferences. She serves as treasurer of the Madison Education Association.

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