What We Do
Golden Apple Foundation is a volunteer-driven organization that celebrates, inspires and supports educational excellence in our community. Local founders, Don Zimmerman and Dr. Richard Novak, took a common passion for education and turned it into a collective community effort by mobilizing volunteers to recognize excellence in teaching.
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 Grants and Community Engagement.
The Foundation operates on the generous financial support of community businesses and individuals, as well as the more than 400 volunteers that donate their time and effort to make these programs successful each year.
Celebrating Excellence …Through the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Award Program, Outstanding Principal Award and Volunteer Recognition Awards, the Golden Apple Foundation recognizes influential citizens throughout Winnebago and Boone Counties.
Inspiring Excellence …Through the planting of college aspiration seeds through the "I Know I Can" program and through the Golden Apple Teacher Academy.
Supporting Excellence ...Through Golden Apple Foundation’s Classroom Project grants and the Investing in Excellence: Assistant Principal Development Program enhance the collaborative partnership between teachers, community volunteers and local businesses in order to strengthen our communities educational system.
Who Leads Our Efforts
Golden Apple Foundation Board of Directors
Reno & Zahm LLP
Boeke & Associates, Ltd.
Teacher Academy Rep - Whitman Post School
Stenstrom Companies Ltd.
Vice President Awards & Recognition
YMCA of Rock River Valley
Vice President Programs
Rockford Bank & Trust
Mary Ann Wham, Ed.D.
Crusader Community Health
OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center
Field Rep for Congressman Bustos
BMO Harris Bank
Teacher Academy Representatives
Teresa J. Ingrassia
Richard Novak, M.D.
R. Ray Wood