Golden Apple To Honor Education Advocate Phyllis Lockett With 2018 Impact Award

Award recognizes Illinois leader committed to student achievement through education

October 24, 2018 (Chicago, IL) – Golden Apple, a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to developing and recognizing great teachers, will honor Phyllis Lockett with the 2018 Golden Apple Impact Award at the nonprofit’s annual fundraising event to be held at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago on Tuesday, October 30, at 6 p.m. Lockett is the Founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations, a national nonprofit that works with schools to implement and scale personalized learning models.

The Golden Apple Impact Award honors a private individual, company, policy maker, or decision maker who has impacted the lives of many in Illinois through his or her significant, positive engagement in education.

A primary focus for LEAP is to champion the development of today's and tomorrow's teachers. LEAP has worked with more than 800 Golden Apple Scholars, aspiring teachers who receive comprehensive preparation to work in Illinois’ most challenging schools, to ensure that the student is at the center of their own personalized learning experience.

“Phyllis has been a true catalyst for positive change in education - embracing partners and innovating within the schools and communities that can benefit the most,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of The Golden Apple Foundation. “Thanks to her tireless efforts to bring personalized learning to classrooms and support teachers in these efforts, more students have a customized learning experience and are empowered to learn.”

Lockett embodies the criteria for the Golden Apple Impact Award which include:

  • Demonstrates fearless leadership in the face of adversity

  • Wholly dedicated to better outcomes for all students in Illinois

  • Delivers an aspirational vision for the future and the strategies to achieve the vision

  • Modernizes engagement with students via technology and access to relevant global peers

  • Facilitates gatherings of leaders in education, business, philanthropy, and technology to improve the education experiences of students

  • Inspires entrepreneurial groups of individuals, organizations, or coalitions to improve outcomes for students

  • Invests resources to affect change in innovative ideas, technology, and/or organizations

  • Demonstrates data-driven, research-based decision-making while increasing innovation

  • Engages multiple stakeholders in the delivery of services to students most-in-need

  • Consistently uses sound, unwavering, ethical judgment

"While I'm so humbled by this incredible honor, the Impact Award is a personal call-to-action for me to work even harder, to help all children -- in Illinois and beyond -- realize their full potential," said Phyllis Lockett, founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations. "With the world changing so quickly, we must prepare our students for jobs that don't yet exist, by fueling their passion for learning, and building on their unique strengths, passions and aspirations."

Lockett, the daughter of Chicago Public Schools teachers, launched LEAP in 2014 to fuel and scale the movement of personalized learning and help all students realize their full potential. LEAP has worked with more than 120 public schools in Chicago to personalize students' educational experiences, giving them access to tailored and meaningful learning opportunities. Research has found that students in LEAP partner schools outpaced their peers in traditional classrooms by 13 percentile points in literacy.

Prior to LEAP, Lockett was a strong advocate for Chicago’s implementation of school choice. She was the founding president and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, where she opened 80 new public schools. She also was executive director of the Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA), a pro bono consulting firm for government agencies, and she has held marketing, sales and business development roles with Fortune 500 companies. Currently, Lockett is a board member of ASCD, an independent director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, and serves as a board member on several civic organizations including The Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network and the Adler Planetarium. She is also a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute.

The Impact Award will be presented to Lockett at Golden Apple’s annual fundraising event, which supports the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program, and will be hosted by CBS2 anchor Rob Johnson. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Lisa Wagner at

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:

Eileen Rochford