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31 Golden Apple finalists named

By Staff | Jan 10, 2009

Officials from the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools recently visited schools throughout the county to recognize the 31 finalists for the 22nd Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program. The program recognizes area teachers who exhibit excellence in the classroom.
“If they had a Golden Apple finalist, they were visited,” said Marshall Bower, executive director of the foundation. “We brought members of the selection committee, members of the staff, principals of each school brought members of their staff and announced to students and teacher that they were one of the 31 finalists.”
Bower said the teachers and students were given instructions for the next steps in the selection process. Later, a $200 check will be sent to each finalist towards a classroom project.
“The next step is that they will be observed by all members of the selection committee and interviewed by the committee at Chico’s headquarters,” said Bower.
Each year students, school employees and parents can submit nominations for teachers at any of the schools throughout Lee County. Nominated teachers then fill out an application and go through the selections process.
Over the next five weeks the Golden Apple Selection Committee will visit the classrooms of all 31 finalists to choose the six winners. Each teacher is judged by their classroom performance, imagination, communication skills, and commitment to children.
The six recipients of the Golden Apple attend an official dinner on April 3 at the Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers and part of the evening is televised live. The 31 finalists visited this week also will be recognized during the dinner ceremony.
Golden Apple winners are handsomely rewarded. Besides receiving an apple statuette dipped in gold, they also receive a $3,000 cash award, a lapel pin, a leather portfolio, membership in the Academy of Teachers and an invitation to the Collegium for the Advancement of Teaching. Each winner’s school also will be issued a $1,000 check.
Last year’s recipients included Dawn Voyer from Cypress Lake Middle, Debra Leith from Cape Elementary, Dyann Miller from North Fort Myers High, Ella Grady from Riverdale High, Jim Knecht from Three Oaks Middle, and Suzanne Roberts from J. Colin English.
For more information about the foundation’s programs visit www.leeschoolfoundation.com