Golden Apple Announces Expansion Of Educational Leadership Team

Alan Mather to join leadership team as President and strategic partner to CEO Alicia Winckler

CHICAGO (July 26, 2018) – Golden Apple, a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to developing great teachers, today announced the addition of Alan Mather to the organization’s executive team as a strategic partner to CEO Alicia Winckler, effective in November.

Together, Winckler and Mather will ensure that the talent and assets of Golden Apple reach their full potential in resolving the shortage of highly-effective teachers in schools-of-need throughout Illinois.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome such an exemplary leader to the team at The Golden Apple Foundation,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of Golden Apple. “As strategic partners, Alan and I will utilize our complimentary backgrounds and skills to collaborate on the programs and services that bring forward the highest and best use of Golden Apple’s resources to bring the most positive impact to students throughout the State.”

As a prior district leader, school leader and teacher, along with being the first recipient of Golden Apple’s Stanley C. Golder Award, Mather brings a strong complement of educational leadership experience to the Golden Apple team, and has been an engaged supporter of the Foundation for years. Mather helped prepare many high-potential youth to realize their dreams while serving as a Principal - including supporting 30 students who became Golden Apple Scholars. He also has been a high-value member of the selection committee of recent Golder recipients, and has served as an advisor, instructor, and keynote presenter at multiple Golden Apple events.

“I’m thrilled to join the leadership team at Golden Apple,” said Mather. “Golden Apple is poised to expand their impact -- and, I’m honored and ready to advance these important efforts.”

Mather is currently serving as the Chief Officer of the Office of College and Career Success for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), where he oversees five departments. Prior to this CPS role, he was a high school teacher, assistant principal, and longtime principal. He served as the founding principal of Lindblom Math & Science Academy, where he turned a closed school into the top majority African-American school in Illinois and earned U.S. News & World Report's Gold Medal status for four of his last five years as principal.

A strong synergy exists between Mather’s work in College and Career Success for the CPS and the work of the Golden Apple Scholars Program in particular – preparing diverse, largely first-generation, high-potential students to become highly effective teachers in our most challenged schools throughout the State.

Earlier in his career, Mather joined LAUNCH (Leadership and Urban Network for Chicago), the first principal preparation program in Chicago. His first administrative position was as the assistant principal at a new high school, Northside College Prep, which--in three years--became the top ranked high school in Illinois.

Mather has been a leader in innovation – whether it be the creation of the largest Arabic center in a non-native K-12 school in the United States or launching competency based methods for organizing school systems of the future. He represented the Chicago Public Schools at Harvard University’s PELP (Public Education Leadership Program), was an inaugural member of the College Board’s Leadership Institute for Principals, has been part of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management’s “Leading Successful Schools” program, and was selected as a member of the first class of Chicago principals to participate in New York’s Cahn Fellows Distinguished Principals Program for the 2012-2013 school year.

Among his numerous board affiliations, he serves as President of the Board for the Center for Arabic Language and Culture, and is an Advisory Board member with the Museum of Science and Industry’s Science Leadership initiative.

Mather is a Chicago resident.

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

StaffTony Bosma