Oak Park-River Forest teachers named Golden Apple finalists
Manuel Gonzalez, a Spanish teacher at Oak Park-River Forest High School, has been named one of 32 Golden Apple award finalists. | Provided
OAK PARK — Two teachers at Oak Park-River Forest High School are among 32 finalists for the 2013 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.
Manuel Gonzalez, who teaches Spanish, and Allison Hennings, who teaches biology, were chosen as finalists from a pool of 510 nominations and 215 applicants, represent high school teachers throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.
Since 1986, Golden Apple has recognized outstanding teachers throughout Illinois each year. Created by founders Mike and Pat Koldyke, The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize and honor outstanding teachers for their role in building a stronger, better-educated society. The 32 finalists will participate in a final round of review and observations prior to the announcement of the ten recipients in May.
Each Golden Apple Award recipient receives a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University, as well as a $3,000 cash award.
Perhaps most importantly, recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, giving them a stronger voice and a larger stage from which to address improving the education experience of children.
Golden Apple’s selection committee is composed of prominent retired teachers, college and university professors, administrators and former Golden Apple Award recipients.
Committee members identify those teachers who exemplify the highest standards and practices of the teaching profession. As part of the process, the finalists are observed in their classrooms and the selection committee conducts interviews with the teachers’ colleagues, supervisors, students and parents.
Nominations of fourth- through eighth-grade teachers for the 2014 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching will open on May 1 on the Golden Apple website, www.goldenapple.org.
The nominations can be made by anyone; however, teachers may not nominate themselves. To be eligible for nomination, teachers must be full-time classroom teachers at public or non-public schools within Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake or Will counties, and committed to continue teaching in Illinois for two years after the sabbatical.
The Golden Apple Awards concentrate on a specific group of grade levels each year, including prekindergarten through 3rd grade, 4th through 8th grade and 9th through 12th grade.