Community News, Golden Apple News

Golden Apple Foundation Names 20 Finalists for the 2024 Golden Apple Awards

Golden Apple Foundation is pleased to announce the names of 20 Winnebago and Boone County teachers who will move forward in the selection process for the 2024 Golden Apple Teacher Awards. These talented 6th-12th grade teachers were chosen by a committee of community volunteers who had the difficult task of selecting only 20 from a large group of very worthy nominees.


Please join us in congratulating these excellent teachers:

Bethany Austin, Guilford High School, Rockford, Art

Amy Avery, Guilford High School, Rockford, Spanish

David Bardwell, Jefferson High School, Rockford, Biology

Aubrey Barnett, Flinn Middle School, Rockford, 8th grade ELA

Amanda Becker, Auburn High School, Rockford, History

Leann Burmeister-Juliano, Belvidere (Ill.) North High School, ELA

Michael Davis, Kennedy Middle School, Rockford, PLUS 6-8 (Special Education)

Jessica Full, Belvidere (Ill.) High School, Algebra/Calculus

Brooke Harp, Holy Family School, Rockford, 6th-8th grade Literature

Alex Hartz, Hononegah Community High School, Rockton, Algebra/Calculus

Molly Kettelhut, Galapagos Rockford (Ill.) Charter School, 7th grade ELA and Social Studies

Dr. Teresa Kruger, Belvidere (Ill.) North High School, Social Studies

Yuri Moctezuma, Belvidere (Ill.) South Middle School, 6th grade Social Studies

Timothy Perian, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, Music

Kathleen Podraza, North Boone High School, Poplar Grove, English

Marianna Ruggerio, Auburn High School, Rockford, 11th and 12th grade Physics

Ariana Sanders, Belvidere (Ill.) High School, 10th-12th grade Social Studies

Chelsea Spinello-Johnson, Marshall Middle School, Rockford, Literature/Publications

Jeremy Toledo, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, Choir/Guitar/Drama

Cara Wolfe, Flinn Middle School, Rockford, 8th grade ELA


These teachers will be observed in their classrooms by trained community volunteers on four separate occasions between Jan. 16 and Feb. 14, 2024. The next step in the selection process after observations is an interview. The process culminates with the selection of five teachers who will receive the prestigious Golden Apple Award in surprise classroom presentations also featured by WTVO-17 and the Rockford Register Star.

The Annual Golden Apple Banquet recognizing Excellence in Education and honoring the Golden Apple Teachers will be held Friday, April 26, 2024. It is sponsored by Bergstrom Inc. and Collins Aerospace.

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