Published: Mar 08, 2013 3:12 PM EST
Updated: Mar 08, 2013 5:59 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla - The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools surprised six teachers in their classroom Friday with the Golden Apple Award. Each year, the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program recognizes teachers who represent outstanding performance in their profession. The 2013 Golden Apple Teachers are: 

Karen Green– Challenger Middle

Karen Green teaches Regular and Intensive Math to 8th graders. Green has been teaching for 14 years has a master’s degree in Elementary Education. She has been a trainer for the Classroom Performance System to the staff of her school.

Amy Mayer– Allen Park Elementary

Mayer teaches General Academics and Accelerated Reading to 3rd grade students at Allen Park Elementary. Mayer is a monthly presenter at the Common Core Math Professional Learning Community and a member of the Kagan Leadership Team. She has been teaching in Lee County for 6 years.

Barbara Rebeor– Challenger Middle

Rebeor teaches 8th grade science to students at Challenger Middle. Rebeor has been teaching in Lee County for 8 years and is a member of the Lee County Reading Council, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Middle School Literacy Council, National Parent Teachers Association and the FGCU Student Government Alumni Association.

 Robert Schalmo– Villas Elementary

Schalmo teaches kindergarten students phonics, reading, calendar math, science and social studies. Schalmo has been teaching for 11 years, and is a member of the National Educational Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Fernando Vazquez– Ida S. Baker High

Vazquez teaches (ESE) Exceptional Student Education—Math, Self Determination, Life Management, Career Preparation, and Career Experience— to 9th through 12th grade students at Ida S. Baker High. Vazquez has been teaching for 14 years and is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Morgan Wright– J. Colin English Elementary

Wright teaches Physical Education to kindergarteners through 5th graders, 5th grade Enrichment Math, and 4th grade Intervention Math. Wright has been teaching in Lee County for 9 years and is a member of the Lee County Health & Physical Education Association. He has been appointed as a chairperson to the Special Area Department and was elected as the Health/Nutrition Physical Education Contact Representative for grades K-5 in all Lee County Public Schools.

The Golden Apple teachers were chosen after going through an extensive selection process which began in September with a community-wide invitation to nominate teachers deserving of special recognition. The final six teachers were selected after completing a three-step process:  completion of a comprehensive application; observation of their classroom teaching skills; and a personal interview by the Golden Apple Selection Committee.  Selection criteria covered both the art and science of teaching, focusing on effective communication of subject matter, deep concern for students’ needs and the ability to inspire love of learning.

Each recipient receives a “gold apple,” $3,000 cash award, a gold apple lapel pin designed by Mark Loren, and membership in the Academy of Teachers, the ongoing element of the Golden Apple program. The Academy was created to provide these teachers with continuing opportunities for development. In addition, the Golden Apple Teacher’s school receives $500 to use at the discretion of the teacher and principal.

The six recipients will be guests of honor at the 26th Annual Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Banquet on Friday, April 5 at the Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers.