Staff Announcement

Golden Apple takes great pride in our team of dedicated and exceptional staff who have propelled the Foundation to deliver highly effective teachers for tens of thousands of students in schools-of-need. 

One of the most critical components of The Golden Apple Scholars Program - our Summer Institutes - is an opportunity for Scholars to acquire in-classroom experience, provide deep focus on competencies essential for effective teaching in schools-of-need, and allow time to reflect on their practice - working with Master Teachers, our Golden Apple Fellows, and Golden Apple Scholars who have completed the mission.  As a Golden Apple Scholar who completed the 5-year commitment to teach in schools-of-need, Neal Grimes will be assuming the role of Director of Summer Institutes for Scholars on August 13th, 2018

In this new position, he will lead the implementation of comprehensive, competency-based, high-value Summer Institutes for Golden Apple Scholars, partnering with Dr. Melissa Fischer, the Vice President of Curriculum, Research, and Accountability, regarding the implementation of high-impact curricula, and collaborating with the team of Scholar Directors including:

  • Dave Marcial - the Director of Scholar Recruitment and Selection

  • Corey Richardson - the Director of Placement and Alumni Relations

  • Kesa Thurman - the Director of Mentoring for Teaching Scholars


For the last several years, Neal has served in multiple capacities at Summer Institutes, as a Liaison, Reflective Lead, Instructor, and, most recently, a Co-Director, where he successfully mentored Scholars and implemented teaching strategies to facilitate Scholar growth and learning.  

Neal is a former special education high school teacher who most recently worked with the Kankakee School District as a district learning partner. In this role, he modeled and developed instructional and behavioral strategies for both leaders and teachers in Kankakee.  Among his responsibilities, he also provided classroom management support across all grade levels, and coordinated a mentoring program for new teachers.  

Neal earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Human and Educational Services from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts in Multicategorical Special Education in addition to a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Governors State University.

StaffTony Bosma