Golden Apple Announces Nomination Deadlines for Scholar, Teacher and Head of School Awards

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Teacher and Head of School nominations due Jan. 5; Scholar nominations due Jan. 15

With a strong history of advancing and celebrating exceptional educators, Golden Apple is pleased to announce that nominations for their three prestigious education awards are quickly approaching. Nominations for the 2015 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award are due Monday, January 5, 2015. The Golden Apple Scholars nominations are due on Thursday, January 15. All nomination forms are available online.

Golden Apple has recognized outstanding educators from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties annually since 1986 with the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award honors outstanding teachers for their contributions to building a stronger, better-educated citizenry. This year the award will recognize outstanding Pre-K through 3rd grade full-time classroom teachers currently teaching at a public or non-public school. Golden Apple award recipients play a critical role in furthering the programs of Golden Apple, particularly as members of the faculty who help prepare the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois to be future teachers within schools of need. Each Golden Apple Award recipient receives a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University. Recipients also receive a $5,000 cash award. Importantly, award recipients also 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 within Illinois and nationally. Administrators, teachers, counselors, parents and students are invited to nominate outstanding teachers for the award.

With more than 1,500 statewide participants, the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program is the leading pre‐service teacher preparation and internship program in the nation. The program is designed to address the urgent need for resilient and creative teachers serving Illinois students in economically and educationally disadvantaged schools. Golden Apple Scholars receive tuition assistance while they pursue an undergraduate education at one of 53 Illinois universities. Throughout their undergraduate years, Scholars participate in a comprehensive series of pre‐student‐teaching internships, mentoring and course work on the art of teaching delivered by Golden Apple Award‐winning teachers. When Scholars complete the program, they have acquired more than three times the classroom experiences garnered by traditionally prepared teachers. Golden Apple continues to support Scholars after they begin their teaching careers through mentoring and professional development opportunities. In return for the financial and professional development support that is provided by Golden Apple, Scholars agree to teach in a high-need school in Illinois for five years following graduation. Students may nominate themselves or teachers and counselors can nominate an outstanding young person.

Last year was the inaugural year of The Stanley C. Golder Award, which honors one
Pre-K through 12th grade principal, head of school or leader of a public or non-public school in Chicago and its collar counties. Candidates must have served as a principal or head of school at one or more public or non-public schools for five or more consecutive school years. Strong candidates have exhibited exemplary performance and outstanding leadership in education. Recipients receive a cash award of $10,000 to be used for his/her own professional development and a school project of their choosing. Administrators, teachers, counselors, parents, students, and community leaders are invited to nominate.

Recipients of the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching and The Stanley C. Golder Award are notified during surprise visits to schools in the spring. Golden Apple Scholars are notified in February.

About Golden Apple
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Golden Apple began with founders Mike and Pat Koldyke and a shared inspiration-to offer outstanding schoolteachers a level of recognition and engagement in the larger work of education reform. Golden Apple’s successful track record of integrated, innovative programs and resources enhance the quality, resiliency and creativity of classroom teachers and improve teaching and learning throughout Illinois. Qualified, passionate educators-including Golden Apple Award recipients and finalists-lead a small staff of dedicated employees with functional and program expertise. A connected and committed board of directors oversees Golden Apple’s strategic direction. Together with a larger community of expert educators, this nonprofit organization works to ensure that all Illinois children have the excellent teachers they deserve, particularly within schools of need. Visit http://www.goldenapple.org for more information.

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Eileen Rochford
The Harbinger Group
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