Malcolm teacher wins this month’s Golden Apple Award

Tami Maytum and Brett Baker at Malcolm
Tami Maytum and Brett Baker at Malcolm(Taryn Vanderford)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:55 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2023 at 2:00 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Malcolm middle school English teacher and speech/drama coach, Tami Maytum, has won the Golden Apple Award for teaching for January 2023. Each month of the school year, 10/11 gives this award to a deserving teacher in Nebraska.

Maytum is from Lincoln and went to Lincoln Christian High School. She taught private school for four years, but after her son was born, she got her foot in the door at Malcolm. Maytum started coaching middle school volleyball and taught elementary. She now teaches middle school English, and has been at Malcolm 27 years. When her son was in high school, she started helping with speech and one act.

“The program needed a little bit of help,” Maytum said. “We saw kids with a lot of talent and I wanted to be involved and make sure that those kids had a good experience, and we’ve spent the last 11 years building this program and I don’t want to leave them.”

Malcolm won the 2022 Class A Play Production State Championship after Gretna had dominated it for years. Maytum said it was very overwhelming and she is still trying to process everything.

“Last year we were runner up to them (Gretna) and so why not take it a step further. It was so overwhelming, a lot of work, emotionally taxing because of the pressure to end that streak,” Maytum said.

Brett Baker, the assistant speech coach who nominated Maytum, said she is very important to the history of Malcolm.

“I think every professional that cares about the work they do wants to leave a legacy. Tami Maytum’s legacy at MHS can’t be disputed. She’s as much part of the school as the bricks and mortar. Malcolm’s history can’t be told without her,” Baker said.

Maytum finds that very humbling.

“I’ve been here about 30 years. And I’ve been through a lot of kids, seen a lot of kids. And I hope that I’ve left that legacy with them,” Maytum said.

Malcolm High School is Class C1 and building a program at Malcolm, like at any school, takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. Maytum said she appreciates all the help.

“You can’t do it all on your own. You have parents who want to bring in food, help sew costumes, grandmas who have weird stuff in their basement that you might be able to use. You can’t be afraid to ask for help,” she said.

Baker said Maytum is the engine that drives the train. While the trophies are nice, it’s really the process that’s special.

“She is out of the box. And that takes a lot of courage to do. But it also takes the willingness to put in the work and the time into everything that goes into something like taking a Class C school and putting it on a Class A level,” Baker said.

Malcolm senior, Brian Streeter, had Maytum as a teacher in middle school. He said she really cares about her students.

“She’s a mom that constantly wants you to succeed, and she’s not afraid to tell you if you’re not acting up to your own standards. She wants you to be the best that you can be,” Streeter said.

Another Malcolm senior, Tyler Thieman, had her in middle school as an English and reading teacher as well as a speech and one act teacher in high school.

“She definitely builds our character. And I think it’s apparent when we compete at the high levels, like those things they rub off on us,” Thieman said.

“You can go anywhere you want to go from Malcolm high school,” Baker said. “It doesn’t matter how humble your beginnings are. This place is a launching pad for anything you want to do. She has showed us that year in and year out for sure.”

Click here to nominate an educator for the 10/11 Golden Apple award.

Doane University College of Education
Doane University College of Education(Doane University College of Education)

The 10/11 Golden Apple Award is sponsored by Doane University College of Education.