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Golden Apple, an Illinois nonprofit committed to preparing, honoring and supporting educators who advance educational opportunities for students, has announced the 2021 finalists for the prestigious Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.
Meghan Rice, a kindergarten teacher at Willard Elementary School is among the finalists. In selecting her as one of the finalists, the Golden Apple Foundation said she, “builds a classroom of respect and inclusion and looks for ways to expand her capacity as an educator to support and uplift the livelihood of the children and families that she serves. … She worked to ensure her school’s literacy curriculum was culturally responsive and relied on that framework to build a system to support both monolingual and bilingual K-2 teachers, especially with the shift to remote learning during the pandemic.”
The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching honor outstanding teachers for having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and school communities. Teacher finalists demonstrate – in their teaching and results – significant, positive impact on their students’ growth and learning.
A highly competitive award process resulted in the selection of 32 Pre-K-3rd grade finalists – just 4.5% of a record-setting 708 nominations received from 67 counties in Illinois.
“The vital role of teachers in the lives of students, their families, and their communities has been elevated even more over the past year,” said Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple. “The resilience teachers have demonstrated while navigating teaching during the global pandemic and through a time of racial awakening, while providing the high-quality education and social-emotional support students need, has been tremendously impactful. We are honored to recognize the extraordinary work of these finalists.”
The 2021 Golden Apple Award recipients will be surprised in the spring. Northwestern University generously provides a spring sabbatical to award recipients at no cost. Each recipient receives a $5,000 cash award. Award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who play an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in the Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs, which are dedicated to addressing the teacher shortage in Illinois.