Published: Apr 06, 2013 12:42 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 06, 2013 12:53 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla - Hundreds of business and community leaders saluted excellence in education on Friday night.  They gathered at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers to salute this year's Golden Apple teachers. 

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 community turned in thousands of nomination forms a few months ago to begin the Golden Apple process.  From there, a 12-member committee of business and community leaders observes 30 finalists in their classrooms before interviewing each of them and choosing the six Golden Apple recipients.