ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — It took a dozen years for this Golden Apple award to get to a special needs teacher in Robertsdale.

Christina Gunnell sent us the nomination for her friend Melissa Daniel. They first met in Pensacola when Melissa was hired at the daycare where Gunnell’s son Nicholas needed special attention.

“He was the reason I got hired at the daycare where I was,” said Melissa. “They needed a special Ed. teacher so I was hired to step in and handle his case. In the process, we found out there were four other special needs children in that school so out of a class of twenty there were 5 special needs children that I worked with that year.”

That was a dozen years ago, and Melissa and Christina and Nicholas have been friends ever since.

Gunnell said, “Her hands-on and the way she cares for the kids and teaches them. She just has a special connection with them. And she immensely helped Nicholas when he was going into kindergarten, he had some issues and she was instrumental in helping him adjust to kindergarten and getting ready.”

Now, a dozen years later, Nicholas will be graduating from a high school where he and his mom live in Port St. Luce, Florida.  Melissa is a special needs teacher at Robertsdale Elementary School.

 Our congratulations to Melissa Daniel, Robertsdale Elementary, and Nicholas, for a job well done.