Golden Apple Honors 67 Teachers with Crystal Apple Award

Award honors Scholars who have completed five-year commitment to teach in Illinois school-of-need

CHICAGO (July 26, 2019) – Golden Apple, a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to preparing, honoring and supporting great educators who advance educational opportunities for students, honored 67 Golden Apple Scholars who completed their five-year commitment to teach in an Illinois school-of-need. 

Nearly a decade ago, these teachers were chosen to participate in the Golden Apple Scholars teacher preparation program as high school seniors or early college students, and agreed to teach in an Illinois school-of-need for five years upon graduating from an Illinois college. The Scholars were honored in a ceremony at DePaul University in Chicago, a partner of the Golden Apple Foundation that hosts multiple Scholar Institutes every summer. 

“Throughout the State of Illinois, we address the teacher shortage crisis by preparing, placing, mentoring and retaining teachers in schools that are underserved,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of Golden Apple Foundation. “We are proud of our Scholars who have earned their Crystal Apple Award; as, they have made a positive, sustained impact in their school community.”

Teachers who receive preparation in the Golden Apple Scholars program have higher graduation and retention rates – nearly seven times the national average for first-generation college goers. In addition, 82% of Golden Apple Scholars remain in teaching for more than five years (compared to 54% of Illinois teachers who are in the field after five years, according to the U.S. Department of Education). Scholars are in high-demand, with 97% of school principals surveyed replying they want and need more Scholars and 80% reporting Golden Apple Scholars are better prepared when they start teaching, than those prepared by any other program.

“The Scholars program prepares our teachers to make a difference in challenging school environments,” said Alan Mather, president of Golden Apple. “These Scholars continue on the journey to change students' lives, to light the fire of learning where they are most needed.”

View the 2019 Crystal Apple Award Recipients 

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