Published: Dec 13, 2012 3:59 PM EST
Updated: Dec 13, 2012 4:51 PM EST

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - It was an exciting Thursday in Collier County classrooms today, as 31 teachers were named Teachers of Distinction in the Golden Apple process.

The teachers were announced in surprise classroom visits to their schools.

These teachers will continue in the Golden Apple Selection process and from this group, six teachers will be selected to receive a Golden Apple.

The Golden Apple teachers along with the Teachers of Distinction will be honored at the 23rd annual Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers presented by Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Foundation on May 10, 2013.

This year's celebration is a dinner, hosted by The Naples Golden Apple continues to be one of those ways Champions For Learning fulfills its mission by bringing our community together around the value we collectively place on the impact that.

Media partners WINK-TV and Naples Daily News have supported this teacher recognition program since its inception.

Teachers of Distinction for 2012-2013:

Susan K. Alger - Laurel Oak Elementary School
Sherry Ashley - Lely Elementary School
Tara L. Barr - Lorenzo Walker Technical High
Khris Betten-Jutasi - Lorenzo Walker Technical High
Krista Clayton - Manatee Elementary School
Donna E. Cornwell - Lake Trafford Elementary
Maria Ferro Calusa - Park Elementary
Jeni Fletcher - Big Cypress Elementary School
Brooke Hale - Sabal Palm Elementary
Catherine Hunt - Lely High School
Caroline Hylemon - Gulf Coast High School
Andrew Klatzkow - Corkscrew Elementary
Shirley Jean Kucera - Osceola Elementary School
Leslie Mahan - Corkscrew Middle School
Deborah Marino - Sea Gate Elementary
Kristin Merrill - Poinciana Elementary
Sarah B. Nick - Golden Gate Elementary
Rayna Marie Overmyer - Laurel Oak Elementary School
Donna Payne - Sabal Palm Elementary
Darlene Pellechia - Golden Gate Elementary
Bonnie Tucker Pinkerton - Oakridge Middle School
Yudelka (Judy) Ramirez - Eden Park Elementary
Katy Rogers - Calusa Park Elementary
Naomi Rothring - Naples High School
Cindy Sans - Pinecrest Elementary
Stephanie R. Scott - Pine Ridge Middle
Christine Sobczak - Laurel Oak Elementary School
Sarah I. Strahan - Corkscrew Middle School
Lisa Trupiano - Poinciana Elementary
David Ware - Mike Davis Elementary
Kathleen Weitzel - Naples Park Elementary