CHICAGO, Feb. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Golden Apple, the leading Illinois nonprofit committed to preparing, honoring and supporting educators who advance educational opportunities for students, today announced the 2021 finalists for the prestigious Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

A highly competitive award process resulted in the selection of 32 Pre-K-3rd grade finalists — just 4.5 percent of a record-setting 708 nominations received from 67 counties in Illinois.

Complete list of 2021 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching finalists 

“The vital role of teachers in the lives of students, their families, and their communities has been elevated even more over the past year,” said Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple. “The resilience teachers have demonstrated while navigating teaching during the global pandemic and through a time of racial awakening, while providing the high-quality education and social-emotional support students need, has been tremendously impactful. We are honored to recognize the extraordinary work of these finalists.”

The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching honor outstanding teachers for having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and school communities. Teacher finalists demonstrate — in their teaching and results — significant, positive impact on their students’ growth and learning.

“The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching elevate the critical roles that teachers have in our society,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of Golden Apple. “While we continue to face a growing teacher shortage, we know that exceptional teachers, like the 2021 finalists, are crucial to the success of students and play a significant role in the future success of Illinois and our nation.”

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The 2021 Golden Apple Award recipients will be surprised in the spring. Northwestern University generously provides a spring sabbatical to award recipients at no cost. Each recipient receives a $5,000 cash award. Award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who play an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in the Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs – which are dedicated to addressing the teacher shortage in Illinois. 

About Golden Apple
Golden Apple’s mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need. Our leading-edge preparation delivers exceptional teachers who make an impact. We help students thrive in the classroom and in life. Since our beginning, we have recognized master educators annually; and, these master educators help prepare the next generation of teachers. Our vision is an Illinois in which every classroom has a great teacher and to realize this, we are committed to making a material difference in resolving the teacher shortage throughout Illinois. Visit for more information.

Media contact:
Kellie Kennedy
[email protected]

SOURCE Golden Apple



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