Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Announces Class of 2016

Share Article

200 aspiring teachers to be inducted on May 14 at Saint Xavier University

Golden Apple proudly announces the induction of the 2016 class of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program, a group of 200 dynamic young people who have chosen to dedicate themselves to a future career teaching students in schools-of-need. (Click here for the complete list of Golden Apple Scholars.)

Since its inception in 1989, the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program has grown to more than 1,800 statewide participants. The program is uniquely designed to prepare future teachers to thrive in the most challenging high-needs school environments where more resilient teachers are desperately needed.

The program provides tuition assistance to each future teacher while they pursue an undergraduate education. Beginning the summer after high school graduation and continuing throughout their undergraduate years, Scholars benefit from multiple teaching internships, ongoing academic and career 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 teaching experience garnered by traditionally-prepared teachers. Golden Apple continues to support Scholars after they begin their teaching careers through ongoing mentoring and professional development. In return for the financial, academic, and professional development support that Golden Apple provides, Scholars agree to teach in a high-need school in Illinois for five years following college graduation.

“We congratulate the class of 2016 Golden Apple Scholars as they embark on an exciting journey to become exceptional teachers and improve the educational outcomes for students in challenging school settings in Illinois,” said Dominic Belmonte, Golden Apple President and CEO. “The intensive mentoring, with its focus in the classroom, uniquely prepares aspiring teachers to handle the many real-world challenges of teaching in high-need schools. As a result, Golden Apple Scholars are prepared to not only do the job with resilience, but to excel at it.”

The Scholars program has been proven to profoundly improve persistence and graduation rates among participants. In addition, the program has been shown to have a significant impact on workforce development by helping low-income and under-represented students gain necessary skill development for a lasting career in teaching. Evidence of the success of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program includes:

  • 1,990 students were nominated; 200 Golden Apple Scholars will be inducted for the Class of 2016.
  • More than 800 Golden Apple Scholars are now teaching in more than 500 schools-of-need in Illinois.
  • More than 80% of Scholars who enter teaching remain at least 5 years, compared with 55% statewide.
  • More than 650,000 students in Illinois have been taught by Golden Apple Scholars since 1989.

The 2016 class of Scholars represents a diverse group of young people from across the state of Illinois:

  • 56% are first-generation college students
  • 47% are from very low/low income households
  • 47.5% are from under-represented groups
  • 18% are men and 82% are women

Students may begin filling out the 2017 Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois application in August 2016. Teachers, principals, counselors, or mentors can nominate an outstanding student beginning May 16 by visiting

To support Golden Apple’s mission to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need, please visit our donations page.

About Golden Apple

2016 marks Golden Apple’s 31st year of innovating teacher preparation and leadership to transform both the careers of teachers as well as the lives of students in Illinois. Many of our Golden Apple Award recipients choose to give back by participating as instructors, academic coaches, and mentors in both our aspiring teachers program (i.e., “The Golden Apple Scholars”) and our professional development program (i.e., “The Golden Apple STEM Institute”).

Because the critical contributor to student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom, Golden Apple provides exceptional teacher preparation for teachers at all stages of their careers. Our focus is on advancing educational excellence for Illinois’ most under-served students. 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. We enhance their college education with exemplary advanced teacher preparation, game-changing resources and lifelong support, and, they, in turn, stay in teaching for five or more years.

Golden Apple is comprised of recognized superior educators, including Golden Apple Award recipients and finalists, leading a passionate team of devoted staff with technical and program expertise, as well as a connected and committed board of directors charged with overseeing our strategic vision. Visit for more information.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Eileen Rochford
The Harbinger Group
+1 312-953-3305
Email >
since: 02/2009
Follow >
Golden Apple
Like >
Visit website