Golden Apple Foundation and First Midwest Group are pleased to announce our region’s 2016 Assistant Principal selected to participate in the Foundation’s newest program, Investing in Excellence: Assistant Principal Development Program.

Investing in Excellence 2016

We congratulate Renee Schott of Jefferson High School (Rockford Public School District 205) as the 2016 Assistant Principal. As a Jefferson High School Assistant Principal Mrs. Schott’s responsibilities include service as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum, the Principal of Jefferson’s Human & Public Services Academy, the school’s Master Scheduler, and her school’s liaison with Student Services and Alternative Learning department.  Mrs. Schott has been selected to attend the New and Aspiring School Leaders Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  The expenses covered by this program are tuition for the New and Aspiring School Leaders Program, round-trip airfare, and hotel accommodations for four nights.  Upon her return she will conduct a workshop to share what was learned from the experience with education professionals of other schools in the area.

Strong leadership is a skill fundamental to the improvement and maintenance of a positive school culture that facilitates student achievement and faculty motivation.  This is why Golden Apple Foundation partners with area school districts and First Midwest Group to provide one Assistant Principal this unique professional development experience annually to enrich education in our community.

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

Outstanding principals inspire outstanding teachers and create a positive learning environment essential to the culture of every successful school.  Nominate your favorite Elementary School Principal for the 2016 Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award!

Pam trophy Sunil 2

The recipient of the 2016 award will be an Elementary School Principal from Winnebago or Boone County with at least five years experience as an administrator who best exemplifies leadership abilities in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to positive student achievement and development.
  • Fostered professional growth and leadership development among teachers.
  • Established a positive learning climate.
  • Fostered a sense of community in his or her school.

The principal selected for the 2016 Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award will receive, compliments of the Puri Family, $1,500 cash to be used in his/her school and $500 in Volcano Falls gift certificates to reward excellent students.

All Winnebago and Boone County teachers, administrators, parents and students are encouraged to nominate a Principal they consider worthy of this prestigious award. The selected recipient will be surprised in his/her school with the award and recognized at the 20th Annual Golden Apple Banquet on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel.  Recognition of a Secondary School principal will occur in 2017.

Nomination forms are available in Winnebago and Boone County Elementary Schools, online by clicking HERE, or call the Golden Apple Foundation office at 226-4180.  Nominations must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 5, 2016.  Mail nominations to Golden Apple Foundation, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108-2393, fax to 394-5014, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information, contact Kristina Reuber at 815-226-4180.

GAF-logo-hires

Golden Apple Foundation is pleased to announce the names of 20 teachers from Winnebago and Boone County who have been selected to move forward in the process for the 2016 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.  These talented PreK-5th grade teachers were chosen by a selection committee of community volunteers who had the difficult task of selecting only 20 teachers from a large group of worthy nominees.

                                              

Please join us in congratulating the following excellent teachers….

 

         Tiffany Aurand

Windsor Elementary

Loves Park

2nd grade

 

Emily Breakfield

Prairie Hill Elementary

South Beloit

4th grade

 

Lauren Collen

Machesney Elementary

Machesney Park

4th-6th grade library

 

Tina Cuppini

Ledgewood School

Roscoe

K-1st special education

 

Barbara Diaz

Barbour Language Academy

Rockford

Kindergarten dual language

 

Crystal Ellis

Stone Creek School

Roscoe

3rd grade

 

Jamie Gooley

Summerdale Early Childhood Center

Rockford

PreK

 

Lori Granite

Rockford Christian School

Rockford

K-3rd science & Jr. K-3rd grade Technology

 

Meghan Hembrough

Loves Park Elementary

Loves Park

1st grade

 

Beth Hubner

St. James Catholic School

Rockford

4th & 5th grades

 

Jean Johnson

Washington Academy

Rockford

3rd grade gifted

 

Stephanie Johnson

Keith Country Day School

Rockford

Kindergarten

 

Beth Limones

Seth Whitman Elementary

Belvidere

2nd grade dual language

 

Angie Miller-Coy

Jean McNair Elementary

Winnebago

3rd grade

 

Thomas O’Brien

Beyer Elementary

Rockford

5th grade

 

Jennifer Sanderson

Stone Creek School & Ledgewood School

1st-3rd grade music

 

Jennifer Stella

Rock Cut Elementary

Loves Park

5th grade

 

Jill Tartaglia

Bloom Elementary

Rockford

K-5th grade music

 

Carrie Wallyn

Prairie Hill Elementary

South Beloit

3rd grade

 

Laura Wanke

Pecatonica Elementary

Pecatonica

1st grade 


These teachers will be observed by trained community volunteers on four separate occasions in their classrooms from January 19th until February 19, 2016.  They will participate in an interview in the final stage of the selection process.  The process will culminate with the selection of 5 Teachers who will receive the prestigious Golden Apple Award in surprise classroom presentations featured on 13 WREX and by the Rockford Register Star.

Those interested in participating as a Golden Apple Classroom Observer can register online at www.goldenappleofrockford.com or call 226-4180.

Each Golden Apple teacher will receive a cash award, a professional development stipend, a Rockford University Scholarship, a laptop computer and computer software compliments of Entré Computer Solutions, a desktop computer compliments of Rockford Computers for Schools, and two sets of season tickets to the Rockford Coronado Concert Association 2016-20217 season.  In addition, they will be inducted into the Golden Apple Teacher Academy where, as members, they will work to increase public awareness of educational excellence in our schools, promote the profession of education and provide professional development training and mentoring to new and veteran teachers.

Golden Apple Foundation is celebrating its 20th year of taking positive steps to achieve improved education in Winnebago and Boone Counties.  The Annual Golden Apple Banquet recognizing Excellence in Education and honoring the Golden Apple Teachers will be held on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. 

 

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, recognizes and supports excellence in education in our community.

For more information, contact Kristina Reuber at 226-4180

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.