MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — We couldn’t expect anything less from an Army veteran—as our team stealthily embarked on our mission to award a deserving Golden Apple Award–Lt. Colonel Chevelle Thomas had a feeling–call it instinct–that something was afoot.  In short, instead of barging into her classroom–she stopped us cold in the hallway.

She said, “Well I thought a future Army ROTC instructor was coming and I was going to greet this Army ROTC instructor.”

Col. Thomas is a JROTC instructor herself and is highly qualified, having retired as a Lt. Colonel after a 23-year career in the Army–now five years with Mobile County Public Schools.  She likes teaching but also gives high marks to her military career.

“I’ve deployed to Iraq, I’ve deployed to Afghanistan, I’ve deployed to Kuwait,” she said.

But her last duty assignment was the cherry on the cake she said.

“I was stationed at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.”

There she served as communications director. Now she’s teaching young people and not just drilling and saluting. This particular class of freshmen is learning life skills.

Thomas said, “It’s financial literacy, how to write a resume, how to do a portfolio, it’s how to do conflict resolution.”

She was nominated for her Golden Apple by one of her students. Gabrielle Davis said she noticed how she and other students were naturally drawn toward Col. Thomas. And the helping hand Thomas offered when Davis needed help.

“Last year during practice, whenever my Mom couldn’t pick me up from practice, she would bring me to my house which is away from here–like 17 minutes,” said Davis.

And it’s just one of the reasons Lt. Col. Chevelle Thomas is this week’s Golden Apple Award winner. Congratulations to her and Murphy High School for a job well done.