The finalists for the prestigious award were selected from a pool of 520 nominations and 272 applicants representing fourth through eighth grade teachers throughout the Chicago metro area, according to a Golden Apple Scholarship Award press release.
The 32 finalists will participate in a final round of review and observations prior to the selection and announcement of the ten award recipients.
Since 1986, Golden Apple has recognized outstanding teachers throughout Illinois each year.
Created by founders Mike and Pat Koldyke, The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize and honor outstanding teachers for their role in building a stronger, better-educated society.
Golden Apple’s mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois. 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.
“We are inspired by the skill, enthusiasm and passion demonstrated by each of these amazing teachers. Each is a shining example of excellence in education," said President and CEO of Golden Apple Dominic Belmonte about this year's finalists.
Golden Apple’s selection committee is comprised of prominent retired teachers, college and university professors, administrators and former Golden Apple Award recipients. Committee members implement industry and research based professional standards in their selection process.
The goal is to identify those teachers who exemplify the highest standards and practices of the teaching profession. As part of the process, the finalists are observed in their classrooms and the selection committee conducts interviews with the teachers’ colleagues, supervisors, students and parents.
Each Golden Apple Award recipient receives a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University.
Each recipient receives a $5,000 cash award. Perhaps most importantly, Award recipients 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.