Golden Apple Surprises Chicago Principal With 2017 Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award

Share Article

Mrs. Phyllis Cavallone-Jurek recognized with award for top principals and heads of school

Golden Apple, a leading nonprofit committed to celebrating and developing great teachers, today surprised Mrs. Phyllis Cavallone-Jurek, principal of St. Therese Chinese Catholic School in Chicago, with the Stanley C. Golder Award for Excellence in Leadership. Recipients are nominated by their students, community members/parents and colleagues who have directly engaged with them and benefitted from their talent and passion. This is the fourth year the Golder award has been given to a school leader.

Phyllis Cavallone-Jurek, principal
St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, Chicago

Cavallone-Jurek is deeply involved in every aspect of the school, from shoveling snow, to serving lunch, to teaching classes herself. She is the heart and soul of St. Therese Chinese Catholic School. Parents, teachers and students seek her sage counsel and comforting guidance. She communicates a clear vision to the school community and leads by example. In 2004 when Cavallone-Jurek began as principal, St. Therese Chinese Catholic School was on the verge of closure, due to underperformance and declining enrollment. Today, the school is at full enrollment with a long waiting list and is much admired by other schools within the Archdiocese of Chicago. Under her leadership, the school has won numerous prestigious awards including the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence (2011), due to dramatic transformation of curriculum, instruction and productivity. TerraNova, Explore and Aspire test scores now exceed national and district averages. Parents and teachers say she has never lost touch with the classroom. She knows the names of every student and parent in the school community and cares about the success of everyone.

Additional information and photos of award recipients can be found on social media (#teachgolden):


“Strong school leadership is critical to creating an environment of learning and growing for students and teachers alike,” said Dominic Belmonte, President and CEO of Golden Apple. “Phyllis is a shining example of the positive difference that exceptional leadership makes in education. On behalf of Golden Apple, we are proud to name her the 2017 Stanley C. Golder Award recipient.”

Phyllis Cavallone-Jurek will receive $10,000 to be used for her own professional development and a school project of her choosing. In addition, on May 20 at WTTW/Channel 11 Studios in Chicago, she, along with the 10 Golden Apple award teacher recipients, will be honored at the 2017 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership. This dynamic program will highlight the incredible work of the recipients and all they do to support teachers, transform teachers and teaching, enriching both students’ and teachers’ lives. The event will be live streamed, and include live interviews with former students and guests of the award recipients. WTTW will broadcast the awards in a one-hour television program following the event. Check for updated information on the broadcast dates.

This week, Golden Apple also is announcing 10 recipients of the Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award. Click here to learn more about the recipients.

About Golden Apple
2017 marks Golden Apple’s 32nd 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 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, superior resources and lifelong support, and, they, in turn, stay in teaching at a school-of-need in Illinois for five or more years. Over 600 Scholars are currently preparing to become teachers in schools-of-need throughout Illinois.

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 >
Visit website