2023 Golden Apple Award Finalists

Lisa Robinson

Lisa Robinson of Cherry Valley has been a teacher for 16 years. She’s taught general education classes for third and fifth graders, as well as hard of hearing students in K-12. She’s been at Rolling Green for four years, where she teaches Kindergarten. She says, “I believe learning naturally occurs when students trust their teachers to provide guidance and empathy and view them as a consistent source of support. I am honored to tackle this challenging task every day.” Lisa connects her students with diverse students in the deaf and hard of hearing program, the Arabic bilingual program and the Programmed Learning for Unique Students (PLUS) program at the school through read aloud times and shared vocabulary learning. They are also paired with fourth graders taught by a teacher with whom she collaborates. She says, “these opportunities improve critical thinking skills, build empathy and encourage students to think differently.” The fourth-grade teacher, AnneMarie Urbanski, shared that “sometimes a student needs to sit and think and sometimes they need to engage, and she is adept at reading both circumstances.” She added that Lisa’s “support of students in whatever they need is constant yet ever-changing as they need it to be, whether academic, social-emotional or developmental.” Observers to Lisa’s classroom commented that “her kindness and positivity is infectious” and that she rewards student achievements with name recognition and big smiles. She often tells students how proud she is of them and thanks them for positive efforts. It was apparent that Lisa’s students really like her and enjoy the time working with her. One observer said, “You can see Lisa has high expectations for the children and their achievement.” Urbanski also wrote that Lisa’s “enthusiasm, vibrant personality and gentle delivery is always encouraging, even when kids are experiencing difficulties.” In another recommendation letter, Gary Schwerin, a volunteer in public schools for more than 30 years as a tutor/mentor, praised Lisa, writing, “I cannot say enough about the way she teaches, loves, helps, encourages and generally makes her students better people.”