WOODSTOCK – Rebecca Einspahr, 17, can’t remember a time she didn’t have a grasp on her future. It’s always been teaching.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to be a teacher,’” said Einspahr, a senior at Woodstock North High School.
Einspahr recently took a step toward making that lifelong goal a reality when she was selected as one of 135 Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois.
As a Golden Apple scholar, Einspahr will receive undergraduate scholarship money, as well as additional training in the form of pre-student teaching internships, mentoring and coursework. In return, scholars agree to work at least their first five years in an economically and educationally disadvantaged school.
“She has a really huge heart and is willing to go the extra mile,” said Kristin Holzbauer, a student assistance counselor and coach of Woodstock North’s softball team, of which Einspahr is a member. “So she would be an excellent role model.”
Holzbauer said that not many students apply for the award because it is so selective. The 2013 group of scholars was chosen from almost 1,300 nominations.
Finalists go through an interview process to narrow the candidates further.
“She is the most perfect candidate and perfect fit for this award I could imagine,” Holzbauer said. “She is an extremely devoted student and loves learning, so becoming a teacher seems like a perfect fit for her.”
Einspahr, who said she’d ideally like to teach grades one through three, plans to attend Concordia University Chicago next year.
This summer, she’ll head to DePaul University for a five-week summer institute program through Golden Apple.
“It’ll give me a head start to college,” she said.