Golden Apple Foundation Honorees

Know anyone on the list? Me, neither. Congrats to all of those involved. From CPS:

Six Chicago Public Schools teachers celebrated National

Teacher Appreciation Day by receiving the 2008 Golden Apple Award for Teaching

Excellence in grades 4 through 8 Tuesday; eight others were named Teachers of

Distinction. It is the most Golden Apples for CPS since 1996.

Mayor Richard M. Daley and CPS Chief Education Officer Barbara

Eason-Watkins surprised Brooke Thompson, music teacher at Peirce School of

International Studies Tuesday morning with the award and a basket of apples.

Also surprised Tuesday morning were Monica Gil, 7th grade, Gray

Elementary; Samina Khan, 6th-8th grade science, and Donnell

White, 7th-8th grade math, Clark Academic Preparatory

Magnet High School; Natalie Neris-Guereca, 5th grade, Pershing West

Magnet School; John Nieciak, 6th-8th grade language arts,

Sheridan Math and Science Academy.

Clark Academic is the first CPS school to have two winners

in the same year. This year also marks the first time that three CPS schools

had two finalists each: Clark, Pershing and Sherman School of Excellence.

The teachers were among 31 Chicago area

finalists – 13 from CPS – culled from 850 nominees in the annual

competition sponsored by the Golden Apple Foundation. The Foundation is

dedicated to recognizing and developing excellence in teaching. The

prestigious award includes a tuition-free spring term sabbatical at

Northwestern University, a personal computer from IBM, $3,000, and membership

in the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a group of 220 expert teachers who

work together to ensure that all children have the excellent teachers they


For the second year Golden Apple announced Teachers of

Distinction, second-tier award recognizing superior and laudable teaching. Eight

of the 13 Teachers of Distinction are from CPS, including: Margaret Burns, 5thgrade, Gallistel Language Academy; Jennifer Cho, 4th grade, National

Teachers Academy; Lisa Espinosa, 7th grade, Ruiz School; Virginia Kogen,

7th-8th grades, Madero School; Mary Meade, 1st-8thgrade, science teacher, Christopher School; Mark Nelson, K-8thgrade, fine arts, Stone Academy; Esther Ohito, 6th-8thgrade, English, Pershing West Magnet School; Claudine Randolph, 5thgrade, University of Chicago Charter School – Donoghue Elementary.

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