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The Golden Apple Award process begins with the individual recognition of teachers at the beginning of each school year through Apple for the Teacher Day. On this day, community volunteers deliver a fresh apple to every teacher in Winnebago & Boone County, along with a thank you note for their dedication to another year of educating the youth of our community. The Golden Apple Teacher Award is a community selection process with three primary goals:

Support, Motivate, and Honor Great Teachers

To Involve the Community in Our Schools

To Pass Forward A Legacy of Excellence

About the Golden Apple Award Program

From September through October, the entire community including parents, students, colleagues, administrators, friends and family are invited to nominate teachers who deserve special recognition. Nominations can be submitted by anyone who wants to show gratitude for how a teacher has influenced his/her life and/or the community at large. Each year, Golden Apple receives more than 1,000 nominations.

In November, nominees are notified and encouraged to take the next step in the selection process by completing a portfolio, which includes a self-reflective essay and letters of recommendation. This step is designed for teachers to express the value they bring to their schools, why they do what they do, and to help the community understand the incredible amount of talent and drive it takes to be a successful teacher now.

In December, a selection committee reviews the portfolios and chooses 20 Finalists. These teachers are observed in their classrooms by trained community volunteers and evaluated on classroom atmosphere, rapport with students, classroom management, lesson content, teaching techniques and professionalism. Then, the 20 Finalists are interviewed; five are selected as the Golden Apple Teacher Award recipients.

In March, the five recipients are presented with the prestigious Golden Apple Award in surprise classroom presentations. They will also be honored at the Golden Apple Excellence in Education Award Banquet and rewarded with scholarships, stipends and resources to enhance their classrooms. They will officially be part of the Golden Apple Teacher Academy after an induction ceremony several months later.

Submitting Nominations and Portfolios

Recognize an Outstanding Teacher in Winnebago and Boone County! Teachers are the heart of our community. They nurture our children’s inquisitive minds and prepare them for the challenges of the future. They need and deserve our support.

Golden Apple Foundation honors outstanding teachers through the Golden Apple Award process. This program recognizes excellence in teaching and creates a legacy of excellence through the Golden Apple Academy where teachers pass on their skills.

Who is Eligible?

  • Full-time, certified teachers. Each year rotates between Primary or Secondary Teachers.
  • Teachers with five years of full-time teaching experience
  • Teachers currently teaching full-time in a public school or ISBE- recognized non-public school in Winnebago or Boone County
  • Teachers who teach a group of students in a classroom on a regular basis
  • Teachers currently in good standing within their districts

 

The deadline to nominate an elementary grade teacher for the 2023 Golden Apple Teacher Award is October 13, 2022.

Who can Nominate?

The entire community including parents, students, colleagues, administrators, friends and family are invited to nominate teachers who deserve special recognition. Nominations can be submitted by anyone who wants to show gratitude for how a teacher has influenced his/her life and/or the community at large. Awards to Teacher Award Recipients:

  • Inscribed Golden Apple
  • Recognition at the Golden Apple Awards Celebration
  • Membership in Golden Apple Teacher Academy
  • Cash Award
  • Rockford University scholarship
  • Professional development stipend
  • Laptop computer

2022 Award Recipients

Golden Apple Foundation has been recognizing excellent teachers through its award program since the 1996/1997 school year. These teachers become members of the Golden Apple Teacher Academy through an induction ceremony, joining them with a group of outstanding local educators who demonstrate the highest standards of the teacher profession. View past recipients >

2022 Award Finalists

Golden Apple Foundation named these 20 teachers from Winnebago and Boone counties to move forward in the selection process for the 2022 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching award. They were part of a large group of worthy nominees submitted by administrators, teachers and past or present students. These talented 6th-12th grade teachers were chosen after a committee of select community volunteers completed the difficult task of evaluating portfolios of information each teacher submitted.

Past Recipients

The Golden Apple Teacher awards have been awarded since 1996. To see the archive of all past award recipients, click here to view the PDF >