LEE COUNTY, Fla - The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools surprised 30 teachers in their classrooms today as they recognized them as finalists for the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program. The Golden Apple Program brings awareness to the teaching profession in Lee County by recognizing top teachers in the district. Business and community leaders, school administrators, the Golden Apple Selection Committee and The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools’ staff gathered together and visited the school of each Finalist to make the announcements.
Thousands of nominations were submitted by students, parents and the community. Every nominated teacher was given the opportunity to apply for the Golden Apple Award. The Golden Apple Selection Committee, made up of 12 Lee County business and community leaders, selected the finalists from a group of more than 300 applicants. The group ranked each application, narrowing the field to 67 Teachers of Distinction and 30 Finalists. In the coming months, the finalists will be observed in their classrooms and interviewed by the Selection Committee as part of the ongoing selection process. The Selection Committee looks for characteristics of outstanding teachers including control of their work environment, outstanding performance in the classroom, demonstration of imagination, commitment, communication skills and personal concern for the needs of students.
This year’s six Golden Apple recipients will be announced in March with a surprise presentation in their classroom. They will be honored at the 2012 Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Banquet on Friday, April 5 at Harborside Event Center. In addition to recognition at the dinner, each recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award, the prestigious golden apple, a golden apple lapel pin, and membership into the Academy of Teachers. The schools of the six Golden Apple teachers will each receive a $500 grant to enrich and enhance curriculum.
WINK News is a sponsor of the Golden Apple Program.
The finalists are:
Amy Mayer -- Allen Park Elementary
Beverly Joelle -- Bayshore Elementary
Barbara Rebeor -- Challenger Middle
Karen Green -- Challenger Middle
Mara Exposito -- Diplomat Elementary
Quinn Schnabel -- Diplomat Middle
Gwynetta Gittens -- East Lee County High
Kerri Toscano -- Gateway Elementary
Shandra Backens -- Harns Marsh Elementary
Karen Huston-- Heights Elementary
Sondra Best -- Heights Elementary
Patrick Hanrahan -- Ida S Baker High
Fernando Vazquez -- Ida S Baker High
Shane Appeldorn -- Ida S Baker High
Deanna Hasty -- Ida S Baker High
Allan Dyen-Shapiro -- Island Coast High
Joseph Mallon -- Island Coast High
Morgan Wright -- J Colin English Elementary
Jamie McGougan -- North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts
Gwen Gregg -- North Fort Myers High
Linda Grant -- Patriot Elementary
Sara Kohlhauff -- Pinewoods Elementary
Susan Hassett -- Robinson Littleton Elementary
Tonia Petro -- Skyline Elementary
Barbara Winitzer -- Skyline Elementary
Miriam Sutton -- Three Oaks Elementary
Katie Donohue -- Trafalgar Middle