Hersey, Prospect teachers nominated for Golden Apple

  • Willowbrook High School Principal Dan Krause takes a selfie with students on the first day of the 2015-2016 school year.

    Willowbrook High School Principal Dan Krause takes a selfie with students on the first day of the 2015-2016 school year. Courtesy of DuPage High School District 88

  • Mark Hibner, a Palatine High School teacher, is a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Above, Hibner and then-junior Luis Miranda prepare to demonstrate a CNC Lathe in an Advanced Manufacturing Technology class to Illinois State Superintendent Tony Smith and other educators.

      Mark Hibner, a Palatine High School teacher, is a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Above, Hibner and then-junior Luis Miranda prepare to demonstrate a CNC Lathe in an Advanced Manufacturing Technology class to Illinois State Superintendent Tony Smith and other educators. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer, 2015

  • John Camardella, a teacher at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, is one of eight area teachers chosen as a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

      John Camardella, a teacher at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, is one of eight area teachers chosen as a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, December 2012

  • Libertyville High School chemistry teacher Sherri Rukes, left, is one of eight area teachers chosen as a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

      Libertyville High School chemistry teacher Sherri Rukes, left, is one of eight area teachers chosen as a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer, 2011

  • Michael Ayala, a teacher at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, is a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

    Michael Ayala, a teacher at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, is a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Courtesy of Northwest Suburban High School District 214

  • Colleen Backer, a teacher at St. Charles North High School, has been named a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes teachers who make a difference in students' lives and show a commitment to student achievement.

      Colleen Backer, a teacher at St. Charles North High School, has been named a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes teachers who make a difference in students' lives and show a commitment to student achievement. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Joshua Norten, a teacher at Cary-Grove High School, is a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes teachers who make a difference in students' lives and show a commitment to student achievement.

    Joshua Norten, a teacher at Cary-Grove High School, is a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes teachers who make a difference in students' lives and show a commitment to student achievement. Courtesy of Cary-Grove High School

 
 
Updated 3/23/2016 10:45 AM

Michael Ayala, a world languages teacher at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, and John Camardella, a social science teacher at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect are among the finalists for the 2016 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Teachers who receive the Golden Apple award are nominated for making a difference in their students' lives and working to build a stronger, better-educated community.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

As well, Willowbrook High School Principal Daniel Krause is among four finalists in the running for the 2016 Golden Apple Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award.

Winners of both awards will be announced later this spring, but the 30 finalists for the teaching award and the four Golder finalists will be honored during a ceremony April 2 at the Hilton Rosemont Chicago O'Hare. Golden Apple will also honor the winner at the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership event May 20, and during a WTTW Channel 11 live broadcast.

The Golden Award winner will receive $10,000 for his or her professional development and a school project of their choice.

The Golden Apple award selection committee, after a final review and classroom observation, will choose 10 of the 30 teaching finalists to receive the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Winners will receive $5,000, one tuition-free spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University and membership into the Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.

Besides Ayala and Camardella, suburban teachers named finalists are:

• Colleen Backer, St. Charles North High School in St. Charles

• Jeff Grant, Downers Grove North High School in Downers Grove

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• Mark Hibner, Palatine High School in Palatine

• Peter McNulty, Loyola Academy High School in Wilmette

• Joshua Norten, Cary-Grove Community High School in Cary

• Sherri Rukes, Libertyville High School in Libertyville

The Golder Leadership Award is presented annually to a prekindergarten through high school principal who shows commitment to student achievement and expertise in curriculum, instruction and assessment. It's named in memory of a founding Golden Apple board member.

Krause, who is in his ninth year as Willowbrook's principal, has overseen implementation of the Villa Park school's Warrior Code -- to "Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Engaged" -- which has contributed to a positive school culture, he said.

Under Krause's leadership, the school has also put in place a "Warrior Time" resource period for students to receive extra academic help during the school day.

"The toughest part about an award like this is it names myself, but the incredible work happens because of the incredible staff, students and community," Krause said.

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