Golden Apple, a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to recognizing exemplary educators and developing future educators, has announced the 2019 finalists for the prestigious Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.
For the first time in the history of the organization, the award eligibility boundaries were expanded to include all of Illinois.
After a highly competitive process, 32 high school educators were selected as finalists for the award – only 6 percent of more than 550 nominees.
One of those finalists includes Marengo High School 10th- and 12th-grade health and physical education teacher Margaret Dobbertin.
Belvidere North High School Principal Marc Eckmann was selected as a finalist in the excellence in leadership award.
“The historic opportunity to bring the recognition of the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching to all of the schools and teachers in Illinois is thrilling for us, and we are delighted to honor these outstanding 32 finalists,” Golden Apple President Alan Mather said.
The demand for recognition throughout the state was profound. As evidence, nominations for outstanding teachers and leaders were received from 71 counties in Illinois.
“Golden Apple is honored to recognize outstanding educators whose quality of teaching and passion for growing their students create an environment in which students are inspired to persevere and attain their dreams,” Golden Apple CEO Alicia Winckler said.
The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching honors outstanding teachers for their roles in having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and building stronger communities. Teacher finalists demonstrate – in their teaching and results – a significant, positive effect on their students’ growth and learning.
Fellow educators, students, parents and community members nominate teachers for the award. Teachers may not nominate themselves.
All award finalists will be honored Feb. 23 at the Golden Apple Celebration of Excellence at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Event details and tickets are available at www.goldenapple.org/celebration.
Award recipients are selected by master educators who understand and recognize instructional best practices and who use professional standards to evaluate exemplary teachers and school leaders.
Members of the selection committee viewed video evidence of instruction and will observe finalists’ teaching in person in their classrooms – a comprehensive day that includes direct observation of in-classroom teaching accompanied by interviewing finalists’ colleagues, school leaders, students, parents and community members.
The finalists for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership, presented in honor of founding Golden Apple board member Stanley C. Golder, were announced Thursday.
The 2019 Golden Apple Award recipients will be notified in the spring with surprise visits at their schools.
The selected award recipients will be featured on a one-hour PBS program. The livestream of the show taping will air on Golden Apple’s Facebook page on May 18, and the edited PBS broadcast will air on multiple future dates.
As a highly valued component of the recognition, Northwestern University, Golden Apple’s partner for more than 30 years, provides a spring sabbatical to award recipients at no cost.
In addition, each Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient receives a $5,000 cash award. Award recipients also become fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who support current and future teachers and deepen the learning of students.