Columbia, SC (WLTX) - News19's Lauren Talarico was invited to Hand Middle School to present a student with a "very special award;" however, that was just a cover for the real reason she was there.
Mr. Paul Fram was invited to the school's morning newscast center to watch as Lauren presented the award to one of his former students on live TV that was broadcast throughout the school.
"I don't know who it is!" said Fram. "I don't know who the award is or anything! It's a total mystery."
He was surprised to learn that he was not summoned to the media center for a student, but so that he could receive the Golden Apple Award.
"You got me! You totally got me!" said Fram said as he made his way to the podium.
Back in his classroom, Fram's students could not have been happier and it only took as short time observing his teaching techniques to figure out why.
"I believe that all children have the capacity to be brilliant and to learn," Fram explained, "and I figure if they're happy and they're smiling then they're going to be learning. So that's my philosophy."
Mr. Fram tackels heavy subjects like facism and philosophy and these 8th graders don't only 'get it' - they love 'getting it'.
"In here you can create your own views on subjects and it's really helped me grow as a person," said student Liam Aidantoumey.
"He doesn't tell us what to think he teaches us how to think and justify our own opinions about things," added Velina Georgi, "and that's something that teachers don't usually do."
"When we're in class or reading a book, he'll help me see things in a totally different way that I never saw before," explained Anthony Currie.
"He never dumbs down to us or condescends to us and it's really, really awesome to have a teacher that doesn't look at us an inferior but as an equal," said Sally Thames.
Mr. Fram's credentials are impressive; twenty years as a teacher, he attended Boston University, Oxford University, UNC Chapel Hill the list goes on and on.
"I think I've worked harder and learned more in this class than I have ever before," said Thames.
Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments is Fram figured out how to make his passion for the world and for learning contagious.
"I want them to be great in this world and happy in this world," Fram said. "I want them to figure out who they are as a learner and as a person. If they realize that... I think I've done something."
If you have an outstanding teacher you would like to nominate for the Golden Apple Award, pick up a nomination form from any Midlands' BiLo.