wine

Grab your friends and head on over to Artale Wine Co. 6876 Springcreek Road, Rockford for a wine tasting this Friday, October 7th. Come anytime between 5:30pm and 8:30pm.

No registration is required. The cost is $15 at the door and includes sampling of a variety of over 30 wines. Proceeds benefit the programs of Golden Apple Foundation including the Classroom Grant Program, the Professional Development Series for educators, professional recognition program, and more.

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

Don’t miss the deadline to nominate outstanding 6th - 12th grade teachers for the 2017 Golden Apple Award.  Monday, October 17, 2016 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.  

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 in the community, including the following Golden Apple Foundation sponsor sites: Schnucks, Alpine Bank, Rockford Bank & Trust, Associated Bank and branches of area Public Libraries

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 21st Annual Excellence in Education Banquet on April 28, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel.  But, first they have to be nominated!!

For more information,  contact Jennifer Stark at 815-226-4180 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. 

Register Today at Event Brite

apple sorting pic 2015 website version

https://appleforateacherday.eventbrite.com

Over 100 community volunteers will deliver 6,500 Golden Delicious apples donated by Schnucks and thank you cards to teachers in over 170 Winnebago and Boone County Public and Non-Public Schools to thank them for the crucial work they do each day in the classroom with our children.  The Golden Delicious apples are a symbol of all that is good in education and Golden Apple Foundation takes this opportunity to invite the community to recognize the important commitment made by teachers.

The Golden Apple Foundation of Rockford is pleased to introduce Jennifer Stark as our new Executive Director. Jennifer has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 17 years, including 10 years as the Division Director of March of Dimes.

 

Most recently, Jennifer has worked as the Chapter Executive for the Rock River Tooling & Machining Association and the Program Manager for Communities that Care, where she partnered with local companies to provide resources to disadvantaged youth in the area.

“Her experience in event management and fundraising, as well as a heart for nonprofit work made her an outstanding candidate for this role,” said Jeffrey Powell, President, Golden Apple Foundation of Rockford. “We are thrilled to have her working with and for the teachers, administrators and ultimately the students of Boone and Winnebago Counties.”

Jennifer’s previous work in fundraising and volunteer recruitment will be an amazing asset to the organization as the Foundation operates on the generous financial support of community businesses and individuals. “I am looking forward to working with the more than 400 volunteers that devoted time and energy to Golden Apple last year,” said Jennifer. “We are fortunate to have amazing teachers and administrators to celebrate in our communities and helping them inspire excellence in our classrooms is a true privilege.”

Since 1997, the Golden Apple Foundation has grown from honoring teachers in one school district to honoring teachers, principals and volunteers in more than 150 schools, both public and non-public, in Winnebago and Boone counties.

Today, the Golden Apple Foundation continues its mission of inspiring, celebrating and supporting educational excellence in our community through four core programs: Awards & Recognition,Teacher Academy,Classroom Grantsand Community Engagement.

 

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 Mr. Kevin Finnegan of Prairie Hill Elementary School with the Eleventh Annual Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award.    

Finnegan

   

Kevin Finnegan is credited with developing leadership among his staff. He empowers them to make researched-based, data-driven visions come to life. Once the research has been demonstrated he encourages them to present their proposals to the school board with his full backing. As one nominator puts it, “He coaches before commanding.” Not only does he refuse to take credit for their proposals but his staff says he frequently shares credit for his own hard work. One fruit of this culture of appreciation is found in their well-developed, fully blended Pre-Kindergarten program that has grown over the last three years. It is setting the standard for other preschools.  

   

During his time at Prairie Hill he has developed a standards referenced report card that keeps staff focused on the foundational growth of students and makes grade level transitions smoother from year to year. The process of implementation showcased Mr. Finnegan’s skill at relationship building. He gained the buy-in of his staff who implemented this initiative and held parent meetings during the piloting and school-wide roll out. He even created a video tutorial to share with parents who could not attend the meetings. Such considerations have earned the trust of the wider community surrounding Prairie Hill. This has also assisted his development of Professional Learning Communities for which he changed the school schedule to double the amount of collaboration time for teachers as they focus on the growth of each individual student.

 

In addition to the many systemic accomplishments Mr. Finnegan has achieved he still keeps focus on the personal touches. He developed a character program that daily recognizes kids for positive attitudes and actions. He even celebrates the birthdays of each of his 400 students by inviting them to pick a book to keep from his personal collection, they then read the book together and the child signs his/her name on his chalkboard wall to commemorate the event. As one nominator said,  “Kevin recognized that students don’t care how much you know unless they realize how much you care.”

Mr. Finnegan will be recognized at the 20th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet on May 6, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. Reservations can be made at goldenappleofrockford.com or by calling 815-226-4180. He 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.  A secondary school principal will be recognized in 2017.

Congratulations Mr. Kevin Finnegan!

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

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.

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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.