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Beloved Teacher at McCullough Receives Red Apple Award

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – McCullough Junior High School math teacher Kelley Vader, known for her ability to encourage students in math while fighting her own battle with cancer, has been recognized by Ashley HomeStore with a Red Apple Award, a $500 cash prize and a $2,500 check in her name to refurnish the school’s teacher lounge.

“This is such a wonderful surprise,” said Vader while wiping away tears during the award presentation in her classroom on KHOU-TV’s Great Day Houston.

McCullough Junior High School teacher Kelley Vader celebrates her Ashley HomeStore Red Apple Award with several of her students.

McCullough Junior High School student Hudson Richey, who attended the presentation along with a roomful of friends, family members, students and faculty members, nominated Vader.

“Mrs. Vader is like my school mom,” wrote Hudson in his nomination. “She’s been fighting breast cancer and even when she wasn’t feeling well she would still help me. She is the best teacher I’ve ever had.”

As part of the Red Apple Award recognition, Ashley HomeStore will collaborate with school administrators to redesign and refurnish the school’s teachers lounge.


“Kelley Vader exemplifies the difference makers who quietly go about helping others,” said Brittany Graham, community specialist with Ashley HomeStore. “We’re thrilled to recognize her passion for teaching while demonstrating extraordinary courage in her fight against cancer.”

To nominate a deserving teacher for a KHOU Red Apple Award, go to