CHICAGO, March 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Golden Apple, a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to developing great teachers, last week surprised 10 exceptional teachers with the highly respected Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The annual award, which recognizes and honors outstanding teachers for their role in building a stronger, better-educated society, was presented to each teacher in front of their students, families and school leadership.
Created by founders Mike and Pat Koldyke, Golden Apple's mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need. The 2018 award recipients were selected from a record-setting number of nominations - more than 650 nominations, and represent Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers from the Chicagoland area. Fellow educators, students, parents and community members nominate teachers for the award each year.
2018 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching Recipients
- Erica Barraza, Lotus Elementary School in Spring Grove
- Lisa Buchholz, Abraham Lincoln Elementary in Glen Ellyn
- Meghan Dolan, John M. Palmer Elementary School in Chicago
- Heather Duncan, South Shore Fine Arts Academy in Chicago
- Jeri Faber, Ringwood School Primary Center in Ringwood
- Gwendolyn Faulkner, McKenzie Elementary School in Wilmette
- Carrie Garrett, Lynne Thigpen Elementary School in Joliet
- Kristin Mitchell, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School in Evanston
- Daneal Silvers, Edison Regional Gifted Center in Chicago
- Anita Unzueta, Little Village Academy in Chicago
More information on each award recipient, as well as videos, photos and social media snapshots of the 2018 surprise visits, can be found at https://www.goldenapple.org/2018-award-recipients.
"Golden Apple is proud to recognize this year's award recipients for their exceptional accomplishments in the classroom," said Alicia Winckler, Golden Apple president and CEO. "Each of the recipients is uniquely talented and epitomizes the dedication, skill and drive in the teaching profession that facilitates better futures for scores of young people."
Golden Apple's selection committee is comprised of college and university professors, educational experts, administrators and former Golden Apple Award recipients who use industry and research-based professional standards to identify exemplary educators and school leaders. Members of the selection committee observed finalists' classrooms, and also interviewed their colleagues, administrators, students and parents during the selection process.
Northwestern University provides each Golden Apple Award recipient with a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University. Each recipient also receives a $5,000 cash award. Award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, giving them a stronger voice and a larger stage from which to make a difference in education.
Golden Apple soon will be awarding the 2018 Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award, which honors an exceptional principal/head of school. All recipients will be featured on May 19 on a WTTW one-hour TV program and livestream marketed to local school communities. To view the livestream, visit https://www.facebook.com/goldenappleillinois.
Nominations for the 2019 awards open during the week of March 26, and all are invited to nominate an exceptional educator from the Chicagoland area who teaches grades 9-12. For more information, click here.
About Golden Apple
Founded in 1985, Golden Apple innovates teacher preparation and leadership to transform both the careers of teachers as well as the lives of students in Illinois. Its signature initiative, the Golden Apple Scholars Program, provides exceptional teacher preparation, resources and lifelong support to advance educational excellence for Illinois' most underserved students in schools-of-need. Aspiring teachers/Scholars are recruited from the communities in which they return to serve -- with a passion for teaching and a drive to create positive change for young people in their communities. Scholars commit to teach at an Illinois school-of-need for five years after graduation. More than 1,000 Scholars currently are teaching across Illinois.
Visit http://www.goldenapple.org for more information.
SOURCE Golden Apple