Golden Apple Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of the following seven educators who received a total of $6,000to fund six classroom projects. The teachers will be recognized at the Golden Apple Foundation Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

                 Project                                                         Teacher(s)            School & Grade         Grant Amt.

“FIRST Robotics Challenge”-engaging Auburn HS students in the design, build, and use of robotics in a team setting.

Lana Daley

Auburn High School

$943

“STEM for Manufacturing”-Students will learn and apply teamwork and STEM skills as they manufacture a 3D printer.

Bruce Kramer

East High School

$1,500

“Career Readiness for Students with Special Needs”-a program to prepare high school students with special needs for greater self-sufficiency post-high school through hands on job skills building.

David Bardwell

Jefferson High School

$845

“PEACE of Art”- High school students will design, create, and install art work at school and throughout the city on the theme of peace.

Lynn Stockton

Jefferson High School

$1,480

“Robotics Program”- engaging Roosevelt students in the design, build, and use of robotics in a team setting.

Sarah Schaefer

Roosevelt Community Education Center

$1,007

“Response to Intervention Program”- Responding to students of varying aptitudes with customized learning interventions.

Elizabeth Hand and Kelli Houghton

Willowbrook Middle School

$225

The projects selected address various crucial learning issues such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), individualized learning interventions, teamwork and community art.  All projects exhibit a focus on creative ways to encourage achievement in a variety of subjects. 

Eisenhower robotics

Golden Apple Foundation opened the application process this fall to enhance the learning of 6th-12th grade students throughout Winnebago and Boone County for projects that would go unfunded under the regular school budget.  Since its inception, Golden Apple Foundation has provided funding to 233 educators for 188 projects totaling over $100,000.  Recipients will be recognized at the 20th Annual Golden Apple Banquet held on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel.

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community. 

"My son has special needs... Not only has he begun speaking much more clearly but he can understand more now than ever before. [She] has made my child so excited to go to school everyday." or “"She has a great sense of humor and…when we have problems, she knows how we feel and make us feel better. The way she does her career makes me think that [she] loves being a teacher..”  These are just some of the comments about the PreK-5th grade teachers, in Winnebago and Boone County, who are nominated for the prestigious Golden Apple Teacher Awards for 2015.  During this past month, parents, students and colleagues of the teachers made over 1,200 nominations for 540 of their favorite teacher(s) who exemplify excellence in the classroom.  See the full list of nominees HERE.

amanda surprise

A Nominee Reception will be held to honor all nominees on Wednesday, November 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, located at 200 S. Bell School Rd., Rockford.  District Superintendents and building principals will join Golden Apple Foundation Board Members, Sponsors, and School Board members in congratulating the nominees.

The nomination is the first stage of a search for teachers who represent excellence in elementary school teaching in Winnebago and Boone Counties.  The next step is for teachers to respond to their nomination with a self reflective essay and letters of recommendation. Nominees must have five years of teaching experience and be currently teaching full time in a PreK-5th grade classroom. Eligible nominees can download a copy of the portfolio application HEREA selection committee will complete a review of the teacher’s professional portfolios and 20 teachers will be chosen to continue in the process of classroom observations and interviews, which are conducted by community volunteers. 

Five teachers will be selected to receive the Golden Apple Award and will be honored at the 20th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet sponsored by First Midwest Group at the Radisson Hotel on May 6. Each of the Golden Apple Teachers will receive a cash award, a professional development stipend, a Rockford University Scholarship, a laptop computer, computer software, a classroom computer, and will be inducted into the Golden Apple Teacher Academy.

Golden Apple Foundation is a volunteer driven organization thatinspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community.  The Teacher Recognition Program is designed to reward excellence in the classroom and to also use the strengths of the honored teachers through the Golden Apple Teacher Academy.  Academy members mentor new teachers and work together to increase public awareness of educational excellence in our schools, promote the profession of education and provide a positive educational outreach to the community.  

nominations

Don’t miss the deadline to nominate outstanding PreK-5th grade teachers for the 2016 Golden Apple Award.  Monday, October 19, 2015 is the last day to nominate. Tell us in a few sentences why the nominee is outstanding. Nominations can be mailed to Golden Apple Foundation, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108 or submitted on-line at www.goldenappleofrockford.com.  Also, this year those PreK-5th grade teachers within Winnebago and Boone Counties nominated for WREX’s Teacher of the Week also count as a Golden Apple Award nomination. Visit wrex.com to nominate. 

It’s easy, anyone can nominate, and it means the world to teachers when they hear that they have had an impact so great on someone’s life that they took the time to nominate them for an award.  Make a teacher’s day!  Nominate now!   

Nomination forms are available at schools in Winnebago and Boone County and over 70 sites in the community, including the following Golden Apple Foundation sponsor sites: Schnucks, Alpine Bank, Blackhawk Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Northwest Bank, Rockford Bank & Trust, La Voz Latina, branches of area Public Libraries and Rockford Housing Authority

Nominations are also accepted online at www.goldenappleofrockford.com.

Five Golden Apples will be presented to select teachers in March and excellence in education will be celebrated at the 20th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet on May 6, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel.  But, first they have to be nominated!!

For more information,  contact Kristina Reuber at 226-4180 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community. 

Don’t miss the deadline to nominate outstanding PreK-5th grade teachers for the 2016 Golden Apple Award.  Monday, October 19, 2015 is the last day to nominate. Tell us in a few sentences why the nominee is outstanding. Nominations can be mailed to Golden Apple Foundation, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108 or submitted on-line at www.goldenappleofrockford.com.  

nominations

It’s easy, anyone can nominate, and it means the world to teachers when they hear that they have had an impact so great on someone’s life that they took the time to nominate them for an award.  Make a teacher’s day!  Nominate now!   

Nomination forms are available at schools in Winnebago and Boone County and over 70 sites in the community, including the following Golden Apple Foundation sponsor sites: Schnucks, Alpine Bank, Blackhawk Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Northwest Bank, Rockford Bank & Trust, La Voz Latina, branches of area Public Libraries and Rockford Housing Authority

Nominations are also accepted online at www.goldenappleofrockford.com.

Five Golden Apples will be presented to select teachers in March and excellence in education will be celebrated at the 20th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet on May 6, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel.  But, first they have to be nominated!!

For more information,  contact Kristina Reuber at 226-4180 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community. 

rebe pic

Golden Apple Foundation volunteers will be delivering 6,500 golden delicious apples donated by Schnucks, thank you cards, and teacher nomination forms to every classroom teacher and principal in all public and non-public ISBE recognized schools in Winnebago and Boone Counties on Thursday, September 17, 2015. This annual event kicks off the nomination period for the Golden Apple Teacher Awards and is a great way for members of the community to express their gratitude and appreciation for our area educators. To get involved, register and select your school delivery site(s) by visiting https://appleday2015.eventbrite.com  or by calling (815) 226-4180.

Nominations for the Golden Apple Teacher Awards will be accepted now through October 19, 2015. Online nominations can be made at http://goldenappleofrockford.com/goldenapple_nominationform.asp . Paper forms will be available in all area schools and participating community sites beginning on September 17, 2015 and can be submitted to Golden Apple Foundation’s office at 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108.. This year Golden Apple Foundation will award teachers of PreK through 5. To be eligible the nominee must be a teacher who teaches a group of students in a classroom on a regular basis and who is that group of students’ primary teacher.

(Formularios de nominación en español pueden ser obtenidas en nuestra oficina localizada en 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108; en las oficinas de La Voz Latina; o en las escuelas bilingües.) Nominations in languages other than English and Spanish will also be accepted.

6th through 12th grade teachers are eligible for a Golden Apple Classroom Grant. Grant applications are due by 5:00 on Thursday, October 1st. For grant information visit http://goldenappleofrockford.com/Classroom-Project-Grants/classroom-project-grants.html

Volunteers are needed to serve on the Golden Apple selection and observation committees which are tasked with providing an unbiased review of all teacher portfolios and classroom observations. Volunteers cannot be employed by any school or district eligible for the award. Volunteers can register online at goldenappleofrockford.com or by phone at 815-226-4180.

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community. 

golf13

ROCKFORD, IL; July 8, 2015—Don’t miss out on your chance to join Golden Apple Foundation for a wonderful day of golf and fellowship at Rockford Country Club, August 3rd. Together, we will celebrate the pursuit of excellence both on the golf course and in the classroom as we raise important funds for the Golden Apple Foundation. We hope you will enjoy the golf - and the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference in the lives of our area students.

7th Annual Golden Apple Golf Play Day

Rockford Country Club, Monday, August 3

Proceeds to Benefit Excellence in Education

11:00 am Registration and Lunch

12:00 pm Shot Gun Start

5:00 pm Dinner, Prizes, and Silent Auction

$125 per player includes lunch, 18 holes of golf, cart, & dinner.

Registrations appreciated by July 27. Field will be limited to 144 golfers

Special! The first 20 teachers to register will play for only $50 a person.

Sponsorship Opportunities:

  • Teacher Sponsorship...$100 per teacher
  • Hole Sponsorship...$150
  • Bunker Sponsorship...$150
  • Cart Sponsorship (Limit 2)...$500
  • Beverage Sponsorship (Limit 1)...$500
  • Lunch Sponsorship (Limit 1)...$1,000
  • Dinner Sponsorship (Limit 1)...$2,000
  • Golden Golf Day Package: 2 Golfer Registrations, 1 Hole Sponsorship, 1 Teacher Sponsorship...$500

Register by calling 815-226-4180, on our website at goldenappleofrockford.com, or by emailing kdrThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service Award is named in honor of the late Jan Jones who served the Foundation since 1998. Jan joined the Board of Directors in 2006 and served as the Vice President of Awards and Recognition. Jan was a tireless advocate for excellence in local education. She led a successful career in education where her numerous accomplishments resulted in tangible progress for our community’s children. She was a mentor to many educators and community activists. When something needed to be done, Jan Jones did not wait in hope for someone else to do it; she lived the realization that she was that someone while inspiring others to do the same.

Each year the Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service Award will be presented to an individual, couple, organization, or business for demonstrating a deep commitment to Excellence in Education in Winnebago and/or Boone County through volunteerism. 

This year we congratulate Meg Hodge, the 2015 Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service Award recipient!

Meg Hodge 1 SMALL

Meg Hodge founded Andy’s Books for Kids in 2007 to bring about positive change in remembrance of her late son Andy whose favorite pastime was reading. In his memory, Andy’s Books provides books for children who do not have the same access to them that he did. Meg serves officially as the executive director although she does it all for this organization that employs no staff.

She is responsible for the donation of books to thousands of children in areas with low literacy levels. Studies have indicated that the only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home. Andy’s Books for Kids has completed numerous projects resulting in thousands of books in the hands of thousands of kids and teens. A number of these projects have included community building and/or mentoring resulting from her skill at collaboration with area organizations.

It is remarkable to see something so profoundly impactful, yet simple, grow out of one woman’s love for her late son. In his memory, thousands of our community’s children have been introduced to a love of reading and a better shot at equality through literacy.

Meg Hodge will be recognized for her service to education at the 19th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet on May 1, 2015 where she will receive an award designed by the late Jim Barbagallo. 

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community. 

Heidi Houy

We believe that strong leadership in a school promotes excellent teaching.  Outstanding principals inspire outstanding teachers and create a positive learning environment essential to the culture of every successful school.  This year Golden Apple Foundation is pleased to recognize Dr. Heidi Houy of Roosevelt Community Education Center with the Tenth Annual Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award.       

Dr. Heidi Houy is credited with familiarizing the community with Roosevelt and dispelling commonly held myths about the alternative high school model. Alternative education at Roosevelt has always been a place where the same high school curriculum is presented in a different way and so serves students who learn better with that approach. According to Dr. Houy, “There’s this notion that…alternative means bad. That’s not what happens here. It’s alternative because it’s different from traditional high schools. We just meet them where they are.” She has added great success in her personal goal of closing the divide between the school and community.

Her staff credits her with being the chief encourager for students and staff alike. She instituted the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports program at Roosevelt, rewarding students for positive behavior and academic improvement. Dr. Houy knows her students. Visitors to the building can witness her asking students about their well-being with a tangible level of familiarity of their unique circumstance. Among the staff Dr. Houy has built a school culture of cooperation. She ensures that faculty members meet regularly in department meetings and professional learning communities. She facilitates opportunities for professional growth through in-house workdays.

When asked what she is most proud of at Roosevelt, Dr. Houy has an extensive list: “implementing the academy model…, engaging with the community, helping students understand what servant leadership means, increasing student achievement and being able to see measurable gains in learning, increasing family involvement, supporting incredible programs such as our visual arts program (which produced the Visual Artist of the year and a national silver level Scholastic Artist), our parenting program, our Robotics team, building on-line classes that are utilized throughout the entire district, proficiency based grading (students do not move on in skills/content until they are proficient), GED/adult education.” “We may not be getting 21's on the ACT, but the fact that these kids show significant academic AND social emotional growth in the relatively short amount of time they are with us is very meaningful to all of us.”

Dr. Houy will receive $1,500 cash to be used in her school and $500 in Volcano Falls gift certificates to reward excellent students, all compliments of the Puri Family.  An Elementary School Principal will be recognized in 2016.

Congratulations Dr. Heidi Houy!

 

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community. 

apples SML 140 100

Golden Apple Foundation is very pleased to announce the five Golden Apple Recipients for 2015. The teachers, who were surprised in their classrooms today by Golden Apple Foundation Board Members and Sponsors, principals, superintendents, family and representatives from the media, are:

  • Rohini Gupta-Harlem High School, Machesney Park
    12th Grade Mathematics - 22 Years Teaching Experience

  • Laurie Mayer-Willowbrook Middle School, South Beloit
    6th Grade Literature and 6th-8th Grade Spanish- 6 Years Teaching Experience

  • Amy Orvis-Montessori at Thurgood Marshall, Rockford
    7th-8th Grade Montessori Social Studies and Language Arts - 22 Years Teaching Experience

  • Rebecca Downing Pelley-Boylan Catholic High School, Rockford
    9th-12th Grade Art - 44 Years Teaching Experience

  • James Schoepski-Belvidere High School, Belvidere
    9th-12th Grade Social Studies- 32 Years Teaching Experience

These distinguished 6th-12th grade teachers were among twenty outstanding finalists representing the public and non-public school districts of Winnebago and Boone County.  All twenty have participated in a rigorous, seven-month selection process that began with community nominations in September.  Collectively, 300 observation perspectives were drawn from their classrooms over one month by trained Golden Apple community volunteers. In the final stage, finalists were interviewed by teams of Golden Apple Foundation volunteers.

The newest Golden Apple teachers will be welcomed to the 19th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet with a Red Carpet Arrival on Friday, May 1st at the beautiful Radisson Hotel.  Excellence in Education will be celebrated and each Golden Apple Teacher will be honored and presented with a cash award and a professional development stipend from Golden Apple Foundation, a desktop computer for their classroom from Rockford Computers for Schools, a laptop with computer software compliments of Entré Computer Solutions, and the Terry Ingrassia Professional Development Scholarship compliments of Rockford University.  They will also be inducted into the Golden Apple Teacher Academy in May when they join 170 members in continuing to positively impact the education profession through mentoring and professional development of teachers from Winnebago & Boone Counties. 

Next year, teachers in PreK-5th grades in both public and ISBE recognized non-public schools in Winnebago and Boone Counties will be eligible for the award.

For more information or for reservations for the 19th Annual Golden Apple Banquet held on Friday, May 1, 2015 contact the Golden Apple Foundation office at 226-4180, at kdr@goldenappleofrockford.com, or register online at goldenappleofrockford.com.

Don’t miss the opportunity to let an outstanding principal or an exceptional volunteer in education know just how much they are appreciated they are by nominating them for the 2015 Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award and the Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service Award!

resized principal pic

Middle and High School Principals from Winnebago or Boone County with at least five years of experience as an administrator qualify for the 2015 Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award. A letter of support from a school faculty member or from a school parent must accompany the nomination. Principal nominations must be received by the Golden Apple Foundation office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2015.

resized service award

The Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service Award will be presented to an individual, couple, organization, or business for demonstrating a deep commitment to Excellence in Education in Winnebago and/or Boone County through volunteerism. Explain why your nominee deserves consideration according to the following criteria:

•           Recipient will be considered for his/her volunteer work in fields relating to education or additional fields that serve teachers, students, and schools.

•           Recipient will have exhibited a deep commitment to excellence in education in Winnebago and/or Boone County.

Service nominations must be received by the Golden Apple Foundation office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2015.

Recipients will be recognized at the 19th Annual Golden Apple Banquet on Friday, May 1, 2015 at the Radisson Hotel.

Visit www.goldenappleofrockford.com for more information and nomination forms or contact Kristina Reuber at 226-4180 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community. 

2013 observers sml

Has it been awhile since you’ve been inside a classroom?   Would you like to witness the great things that are occurring in our community’s schools?  Golden Apple Foundation is seeking new volunteer classroom observers to take part in the selection of the 2015 Golden Apple Teachers.  Each year Golden Apple Foundation recognizes five excellent teachers for their outstanding work in the classroom with the coveted Golden Apple Award. 

It takes over 100 community volunteers to select the Golden Apple Teachers and classroom observations are a crucial part of that selection process.  Observing and evaluating the Golden Apple Finalists does not require an educational background, just an interest in education and the excellence in our schools.   You can be a part of the Award Selection process by observing in classrooms and evaluating select 6th–12th grade teachers this year. Employees of any public school or ISBE-recognized non-public school and/or district in Winnebago and Boone County are not eligible to serve as observers.


What does it take?  

  • Attend aone-hour training session on observing and evaluating the teaching process.  Available training dates at Rockford University:  1/8/15 at 6:00 p.m. or 1/9/15 at noon.
  • Observe 3-4 Golden Apple Finalists for one hour each during January 20-February 20, 2015.
  • Complete evaluations and submit to Golden Apple.  

If interested in joining the Golden Apple observers this year register at goldenappleofrockford.com/About-Golden-Apple/volunteer.html or contact Kristina Reuber at (815) 226-4180 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community.