With 50 students receiving the prestigious honor in 2015, CPS boasts more Golden Apple Scholars this year than any other school district in the country.
These students represent 29 high schools from around the city - environments where the education they are receiving has inspired them to make teaching their life’s work.
“We are proud that our teachers have influenced our students in such a positive way that they want to follow in their footsteps,” said Michael Boraz, principal of Lincoln Park High School, which had three students named Golden Apple Scholars this year, including Hannah S., who cited her Math and Physics teachers from Lincoln Park as major influences on her dream of becoming a Math teacher. “We are proud of all of our Golden Apple Scholars and are excited that they want to contribute their talents to the field of education.”
Created in 1989, the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois has trained over 1,800 youth for careers in education, more than 800 of whom are currently teaching in high-need schools throughout the state. With its teaching internships and tuition assistance, this program provides aspiring teachers with unparalleled opportunities, not only to attend and complete college, but to graduate with three-times more teaching experience than that of their peers. In return for this outstanding education, and for the ongoing professional development and mentoring provided by the organization, Golden Apple Scholars pledge to teach in a high-need school for at least five years following graduation.
“We applaud these young people for making the selfless choice to inspire and lead future generations of students through a career in education,” said Dominic Belmonte, President and CEO of the Golden Apple Foundation. “As teachers they will experience the reward of improving the lives of thousands of children. We know from experience that excellent teachers produce successful students, and we welcome this new class of future educators with deep gratitude and enthusiasm.”
Lindblom principal Alan Mather, whose CPS school had the most Golden Apple Scholars in 2015, hopes that his students will remember the mission of their high school and carry it into their own classrooms.
“We seek to affirm the good that our students do, challenge them to be their best selves, and support them when they take risks in their learning,” he said. “It is this that I hope we have passed on to our future educators. When they understand the impact they can have on children’s lives…the power they have to change the trajectory of someone’s path…they will be the type of educators we know they can be.”