Golden Apple Surprises Glen Ellyn Teacher Lisa Buchholz With Prestigious Award For Excellence In Teaching

CHICAGO (March 21, 2018) - Golden Apple, a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to developing great teachers, today surprised Lisa Buchholz, a first grade teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary in Glen Ellyn, with the highly respected Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The annual award, which recognizes and honors outstanding teachers for their role in building a stronger, better-educated society, was presented to Buchholz in front of students, family and school leadership.

Created by founders Mike and Pat Koldyke, Golden Apple’s mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need. The 2018 award recipients were selected from a record-setting number of nominations - more than 650 nominations, and represent Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers from the Chicagoland area. Fellow educators, students, parents and community members nominate teachers for the award each year.

About Lisa Buchholz

About Lisa Buchholz After 27 years of teaching, Lisa knows how to use every second of every school day to the fullest. Her favorite tool to maximize learning is the integration of multiple concepts. Often, it’s hard to tell which specific subject is being taught due to the overlapping and reinforcing of math, reading and science concepts that are utilized during her lessons. She guides her students to strive for the highest of standards and to expect more of themselves and each other every day. She is passionate about teaching her students to adopt an “I can” attitude in school and life. Her students play a prominent role in taking charge of their learning. Lisa helps her students set goals for themselves in academics -- and in life in general. She believes that high expectations for students, along with understanding their individual learning needs and caring for them with deep respect and compassion are the formula for lasting success. As a result of her achievement in the classroom, she was also previously recognized as a finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

“Golden Apple is proud to recognize this year’s award recipients for their exceptional accomplishments in the classroom,” said Alicia Winckler, Golden Apple president and CEO. “Each of the recipients is uniquely talented and epitomizes the dedication, skill and drive in the teaching profession that facilitates better futures for scores of young people.”

More information on each award recipient, as well as videos, photos and social media snapshots of the 2018 surprise visits, can be found at

Golden Apple’s selection committee is comprised of college and university professors, educational experts, administrators and former Golden Apple Award recipients who use industry and research-based professional standards to identify exemplary educators and school leaders. Members of the selection committee observed finalists’ classrooms, and also interviewed their colleagues, administrators, students and parents during the selection process.

Northwestern University provides each Golden Apple Award recipient with a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University. Each recipient also receives a $5,000 cash award. Award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, giving them a stronger voice and a larger stage from which to make a difference in education.

Golden Apple soon will be awarding the 2018 Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award, which honors an exceptional principal/head of school. All recipients will be featured on May 19 on a WTTW one-hour TV program and livestream marketed to local school communities. To view the livestream, visit

About Golden Apple

Founded in 1985, Golden Apple innovates teacher preparation and leadership to transform both the careers of teachers as well as the lives of students in Illinois. Its signature initiative, the Golden Apple Scholars Program, provides exceptional teacher preparation, resources and lifelong support to advance educational excellence for Illinois’ most underserved students in schools-of-need. Aspiring teachers/Scholars are recruited from the communities in which they return to serve -- with a passion for teaching and a drive to create positive change for young people in their communities. Scholars commit to teach at an Illinois school-of-need for five years after graduation. More than 1,000 Scholars currently are teaching across Illinois. Visit for more information.

Media contact:

Kellie Kennedy