Golden Apple began in 1985 with one couple and a shared inspiration — to offer outstanding teachers the level of recognition enjoyed by actors at the Academy Awards.
Martin and Patricia Koldyke (Mike and Pat) quickly secured the interest and partnership of Chicago public television station WTTW and Northwestern University.
- In 1986, the first Golden Apple Awards ceremony broadcast the exceptional work of 10 Chicago-area teachers.
- In 1989, Golden Apple launched the Scholars of Illinois program for pre-service teachers and the Science Workshop for veteran teachers.
- In 1993, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar approved legislation expanding the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program statewide, supporting tuition assistance for a larger group of Scholars. The annual Scholar class size grew from 15 to 60 Scholars.
- In 1997, Golden Apple held the first annual CORE (Center for Ongoing Renewal and Enrichment) professional development conference for teaching Scholars.
- In I998, Golden Apple introduced alternative teacher certification to Illinois through legislation. The Golden Apple Teacher Education (GATE) program helped more than 400 mid-career adults become teachers before transitioning to a consultancy to other alternative certification programs in 2007.
- In 2001, Golden Apple’s annual Scholar class size reached 100, and the program was among 15 nationwide finalists for the Innovation in Government award.
- In 2010, Golden Apple launched the STEM Institute, a two-year program to transform science instruction in cohorts of CPS partner schools.
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