Seven suburban educators among Golden Apple 2018 finalists

Seven suburban educators are among Golden Apple's 2018 finalists for its Excellence in Teaching and Stanley C. Golder Leadership awards.

Jose M. Torres, president of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora and former superintendent of Elgin Area School District U-46, is a finalist for the leadership award named for Golder, a founding board member of Golden Apple.

Finalists for the Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award include:

• Erica Barraza of Lotus Elementary School in Spring Grove.

• Lisa Buchholz of Abraham Lincoln Elementary in Glen Ellyn.

• Jodi Christoforou of Olive-Mary Stitt Elementary School in Arlington Heights.

• Rebecca Kelly of Arbor View Elementary School in Glen Ellyn.

• Dawn Majer of Ardmore Elementary School in Villa Park.

• Megan Shore of Oakbrook Elementary in Wood Dale.

The annual Celebration of Excellence event in honor of the finalists will be held Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Hilton Rosemont Chicago O'Hare.

"This year's award finalists, selected through an anonymous process, represent accomplished educators who are embracing very complex assignments to enrich and advance the lives of students," Golden Apple President and CEO Alicia Winckler said in an announcement of the finalists. "These awards shine a bright light on the incredible work happening in our schools."

The Excellence in Teaching Award finalists will undergo a final round of review and classroom observations before the awards' announcement this spring.

Northwestern University provides each Golden Apple Award recipient with a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study there. Each recipient also receives a $5,000 cash award and becomes a Fellow of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.

Leadership Award recipients receive a cash award of $10,000, with half going toward the administrator's personal development and half to the school for a project of the recipient's choosing.

Golden Apple is an Illinois nonprofit founded in 1985 to develop great teachers and positively affect the lives of their students.

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