Published: Mar 05, 2012 8:02 PM EST
Updated: Mar 06, 2012 12:12 AM EST

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Dozens of members of the community surprised six Collier County teachers in their classrooms Monday with the prestigious Golden Apple award. The Golden Apple is a community award presented to teachers to recognize excellence in the classroom.

Students, parents and community members submitted more than two thousand nominations in this year's Golden Apple process.  After the list is narrowed down to 30 teachers, a committee then interviewed the teachers and observed them in their classrooms before selecting the final six recipients.

Congratulations to the following 2012 Golden Apple teachers:

Maria Lana Christmas, Vineyards Elementary
Darlene R. Crete, Lorenzo Walker Technical High
Michal Durik, Barron Collier High
Paul G. Horne, Naples High
Eileen Schoenknecht, Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology
Sheila Snyder, Palmetto Elementary

The 2012 Golden Apple teachers represent more than 98 years of teaching experience combined.  They will be honored at a community event on April 11, 2012 at the Waldorf Astoria Naples.  WINK-TV will also air an hour long program honoring the teachers in May.  WINK-TV is a proud sponsor of the Golden Apple program.