National Louis University Announces Four National College of Education Graduates Receive 2011 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education
National Louis University today announced four graduates of the University's National College of Education received the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education. Local dignitaries and celebrities, as well as Golden Apple executives notified the recipients during surprise visits to their classrooms on May 9 and 10. The honorees, all fourth-eighth-grade teachers, were selected from a pool of more than 600 nominees. With the addition of these four individuals, 57 total National Louis graduates have earned the prestigious Golden Apple Award recognition.
"This is a proud day for National Louis University, as nearly half of this year's Golden Apple Award winners have benefitted from the distinctive learning environments and quality educational methods created by our National College of Education," said Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., National Louis University president. "We believe that investing in professional educators makes the most significant contribution to educational advancements. Our goal is to provide our National College of Education students with exceptional preparation and professional development, which incorporates experimental models and community partnerships, to help them to be quality educators in challenging environments."
As National Louis celebrates its 125th anniversary and a strong history of providing educational access to individuals who otherwise might not have had the opportunity, including adult, immigrant and minority populations, the University also reflects on its leading role establishing the universal kindergarten movement and the Parent Teacher Association.
"It is with great honor that we add the names of Judy Choi, Arleta Ingram, Gerard Kovach and Kyle Radcliff to the long list of Golden Apple Award winners who received their education from National Louis University," said Dr. Alison Hilsabeck, dean, National College of Education. "Elizabeth Harrison, a pioneer in the kindergarten movement, founded our National College of Education 125 years ago. Her passion of improving education for children lives on in the teaching excellence shown by these winners."
Golden Apple has recognized outstanding Chicago-area educators annually since 1986. Golden Apple founders Mike and Pat Koldyke created the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching to recognize and honor outstanding teachers for their contributions to building a stronger, better-educated citizenry. Each Golden Apple Award recipient receives a tuition-free, spring semester sabbatical to study at Northwestern University. Each winner also receives a $3,000 cash award. Perhaps most importantly, Golden Apple teachers become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, providing a stronger voice and a larger stage from which to make an impact, through ongoing professional development and engagement in education reform, such as the mentoring of future teachers through Golden Apple's Scholars program.
"Once again, National Louis has made its distinguished mark known by being the University from which a number of Golden Apple recipients learned their craft," said Dom Belmonte, executive director of Golden Apple. "We are proud to offer this exceptional group of educators an opportunity to develop their ideas and a forum to share their thoughts on improving education."
The recipients of the 2011 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching will be honored at a black-tie event on Friday, October 21, at WTTW/Channel 11 Studios in Chicago. WTTW also will broadcast the awards in a one-hour television program following the event.
2011 Golden Apple Award Winners from National Louis University
Judy Choi, City Charter - Bartolome de Las Casas, 4th Grade
Judy was one of the very first teachers at Bartolome de las Casas, a very small charter school in the middle of the historic and culture-enriched Pilsen region in Chicago. She provides the school with institutional memory and is noted for her caring, high expectation teaching style. She feels her purpose at Bartolome is to challenge herself to make each child she teaches confident and self-motivated. She bases her personal success on the long-term growth of her individual students.
Arleta Ingram, Chicago Public - Carnegie Elementary, 5th to 8th Science
Arleta has taken on the role of the unofficial science coach in her school because of the wealth of resources in her classroom that she shares with colleagues. Because of the relationships Arleta has established with the University of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the University of Illinois Chicago, the school has a wealth of educational opportunities through academic enrichment programs during and after school. Arleta is a 2010 winner of the Chicago Public Schools DRIVE Teacher Award and a member of the Teacher Leadership Advisory Council.
Gerard Kovach, Chicago Public - Rubén Salazar Bilingual Education Center, 8th Language Arts and 6th to 8th Science
Gerard is a National Board Certified Teacher who teamed up with an engineer from Motorola Corporation who leads the company's Latino community outreach program. His students have benefited from this partnership with Motorola through sponsored field trips to the company headquarters to learn about the work of engineers. Gerard also has taken numerous courses in Spanish so he can communicate more effectively with his Hispanic students and families. He participated in a study abroad program that took place on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. He lives his school's motto: "Being bilingual is our future!"
Kyle Radcliff, Chicago Public- Newberry Math and Science Academy, 5th and 6th Math
Kyle started a Family Math Night at Newberry that he called Night at The Academy. As a math teacher, he felt this would be a great way to reach out to the community and to allow teachers a chance to interact with students. His theme centered on the Academy Awards. Kyle said he had the same thought as Mike and Pat Koldyke when they started the Golden Apple Foundation to celebrate extraordinary teachers. He wanted to give students that "star treatment" and to have them come to school with their families for a fun night.
About National Louis University
National Louis University began as a teacher of teachers; teaching remains not just the university's strength, but its calling. In 1886, founder Elizabeth Harrison took the idea of early childhood education and built around it one of the first four-year colleges for teachers. Today, in the process of educating students, faculty in the National College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences and College of Management and Business continue to act on some of the most urgent problems of our time and our society. They are innovators, animated by an intense dedication to their students and a commitment to building more effective and more caring schools, communities and societies. For more information, visit www.nl.edu or www.nl.edu/125.
About Golden Apple
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Golden Apple began with founders Mike and Pat Koldyke and a shared inspiration—to offer outstanding schoolteachers a level of recognition and engagement in the larger work of education reform. Golden Apple's successful track record of integrated, innovative programs and resources enhance the quality, resiliency, and creativity of classroom teachers and improve teaching and learning throughout Illinois. Qualified, passionate educators—including Golden Apple Award-winners and finalists—lead a small staff of dedicated employees with functional and program expertise. A connected and committed board of directors oversees Golden Apple's strategic direction. Together with a larger community of expert educators, this nonprofit organization works to ensure that all Illinois children have the excellent teachers they deserve.
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