Five Chicago Public Schools teachers and two Chicago charter school teachers were named Golden Apple winners May 9 and 10.
The annual awards by the Golden Apple Foundation offer outstanding teachers a level of recognition and engagement in the larger work of education reform. Now celebrating its 26th anniversary, Golden Apple was founded by Mike and Pat Koldyke to recognize and honor outstanding teachers.
Golden Apple winners are notified via a surprise visit to their classrooms. Each winner also receives a $3,000 cash award and a tuition-free semester sabbatical to study at Northwestern University. Winners also become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.
The 2011 Golden Apple teachers are:
- Marc Hans, Hanson Park School, 6th Science
Marc started his own not-for-profit organization called "the scienceFIST foundation" at www.sciencefist.org . Marc is dedicated to providing after-school science mentoring programs to at-risk youth. Marc plans and writes the curriculum; seeks donations and funding; handles marketing and promotion; and fosters working relationships with scientists, science institutions, universities, supply companies and science experts. Marc is a 2009 winner of the Chicago Public Schools DRIVE Teacher Award and a member of the DRIVE Teacher Advisory Council.
- Arleta Ingram, Carnegie Elementary, 5th to 8th Science
Arleta has taken on the role of the unofficial science coach in her school because of the resources in her classroom that she shares with colleagues. Arleta has established relationships with the University of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the University of Illinois Chicago. Arleta is a 2010 DRIVE Teacher and a member of the Teacher Leadership Advisory Council.
- Gerard Kovach, Rubén Salazar Bilingual Education Center
8th Language Arts and 6th to 8th Science Gerard is a National Board Certified Teacher. He teamed up with an engineer from Motorola Corporation who leads the company’s Latino community outreach program. His students have benefited from this partnership with Motorola through sponsored field trips to the company headquarters to learn about the work of engineers. Gerard has participated in a study abroad program that took place on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. He lives his school’s motto: "Being bilingual is our future!"
- Kyle Radcliff, Newberry Math and Science Academy, 5th and 6th Math
Kyle started a Family Math Night at Newberry that he called Night at The Academy. As a math teacher, he felt this would be a great way to reach out to the community and to allow teachers a chance to interact with students. His theme centered on the Academy Awards.
- Eliza Ramirez, Emiliano Zapata Academy, 7th Reading and Writing
Eliza credits the University of Chicago with teaching her about uncommon questions and responses; the Latin School of Chicago about work ethic, the way peers shape and strengthen each other’s mind, and to live as a counterweight to the inequities of the world; and the High Jump Program about humility, diversity, and opportunities that she didn’t know existed. She feels the education she received has transformed her from thinking she was the kid with all the right answers to the teacher who poses difficult questions to compel students to think and respond dimensionally.
- Judy Choi, Bartolome de Las Casas, 4th Grade
Judy was one of the very first teachers at Bartolome de las Casas, a small charter school in Pilsen. She provides the school with institutional memory and is noted for her caring, high expectation teaching style. She feels her purpose at Bartolome is to challenge herself to make each child she teaches confident and self-motivated.
- Ronald Hale, Chicago International Charter (Avalon), 7th and 8th Science and Character Education
Ronald loves to collaborate with his teacher colleagues. As a graduate of the Chicago Public Schools system and now as an instructor, he feels he has a unique perspective of today’s students. Ronald sees himself a perpetual advocate for students, always looking to find what will bring them success. He feels much can be learned from students by listening to them, and he hopes to remain the teacher who continues to link the interest of teachers and students.