Two Cape teachers among ‘Golden Apple’ winners
Six Lee County public school teachers were recognized as “Golden Apple” teachers today for exemplifying outstanding performance in their profession.
The teachers who received the traditional surprise visits in their schools are:
* Deborah Suhrie, a first grade teacher at Trafalgar Elementary;
* Debra Hornick, a second grade teacher at Tice Elementary;
* Jennifer Tomlinson, who teaches English 1 and English 4 in grades 9 and 12 at Fort Myers High School;
* Leisha Roy, a Health Teacher at Gulf Middle School;
* Mirta Torres, a third grade teacher at Spring Creek Elementary;
* Tilisa Skerczak, who teaches kindergarten at Sunshine Elementary.
“Now, more than ever, it is essential to recognize the important and vital role that teachers have in our community,” said Marshall T. Bower, Esq., executive director of the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, in a prepared statement. “The only way we will be able to compete in a global economy is through a well-trained and educated citizenry. The teaching profession is charged with accomplishing this task. The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program sends an important and much-needed message of appreciation to all of our teachers. The Foundation is proud to have founded the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program recognizing the community’s finest teachers.”
Developed in 1987, the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program is a major project of The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. a non-profit corporation established to bring together public and private resources for the betterment of the public educational system in Lee County. The program has received national and state recognition and has become a model for similar programs developed elsewhere in the United States and throughout Florida, including Collier, Hendry and Monroe counties.
Today’s Golden Apple teachers were chosen after going through an extensive selection process which began in October with a community-wide invitation to nominate teachers deserving of special recognition.
The six teachers were selected after completing a three-step process: completion of a comprehensive application; observation of their classroom teaching skills; and personal interview by the Golden Apple Selection Committee. Selection criteria covered both the art and science of teaching, focusing on effective communication of subject matter, deep concern for students’ needs and the ability to inspire love of learning.
Each recipient receives a “gold apple”, $3,000 cash award, a professionally designed gold apple lapel pin, a leather portfolio, and membership in the Academy of Teachers, the ongoing element of the Golden Apple program. The Academy, created to provide these teachers with continuing opportunities for developing and using their skills, will now have 116 members. The school of the Golden Apple teacher receives a check for $1,000.
The six will be guests of honor at the 22nd annual Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Dinner on Friday, April 3, at the Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers. This elegant, black-tie preferred affair will feature the Lee County Golden Apple teachers and the 25 finalists during a 60-minute, live telecast on Comcast – Channel 99 at 8 p.m. which will be commercial free. Rebroadcast will be Saturday, April 11 at noon and 7 p.m. on WINK-TV. (The 69 Teachers of Distinction will be recognized during the preprogram dinner portion.)
The 2008-2009 Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program is made possible through a business and community partnership of Bank of America, Chico’s Charities, Colonial Bank, EMBARQ, Kraft Construction Company, Lee Memorial Health System, The News-Press and WINK-TV.
Source: Foundation for Lee County Schools