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, spanning Winnebago and Boone counties.
About Golden Apple Foundation
A volunteer-driven organization, the Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates, and supports educational excellence. We serve the students and teachers in 150 public and private schools in Winnebago and Boone counties through classroom grants, awards, training, and community engagement. In 1997, the Rockford Public Schools Foundation merged with the Community Education Foundation to form the Golden Apple Foundation of Rockford. 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. Today, the Golden Apple Foundation continues its mission through four core programs: Awards & Recognition, Teacher Scholarships, Classroom Grants and Community Engagement. We operate entirely on the generous financial support of community businesses and individuals as well as the more than 400 volunteers who donate their time and effort to make our programs successful each year.
Meet Our Team
Jennifer StarkEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Kathi EdwardsADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Lori Diaz, Blackhawk BankPRESIDENT & CHAIR PROGRAMS
J. Earl Wilsey, Schmeling ConstructionCHAIR EVENTS
Mary Ann NorwoodCHAIR TEACHER SELECTION
Michelle Gorham, YMCA of RRVPAST PRESIDENT
Gordon Eggers Jr.
Eric Fulcomer, Ph.D., Rockford University
Lynn Gibson, Ed.D.
Carrie Gulbrandsen, Ed.D., Rasmussen College
Lisa Johnson, OSF Health
John Kim, Barrick, Switzer, Long, Balsley, Van Evera LLP
Nellie Miller, SupplyCore
Dan Pickerill, Collins Aerospace
David Rydell, Bergstrom
Amy Sola, Associated Bank
Patty Stadelman, WTVO/WQRF
Brad Zimmerman, Zimmerman Home Builders/Gambino Realtors
Teacher Academy Representatives
Teresa J. Ingrassia
Richard Novak, M.D.
R. Ray Wood