In addition to annually naming recipients of the Golden Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership, Golden Apple recognizes Teachers and Leaders of Distinction – Awards finalists whose superior work in education was noted by the Selection Committee. The Teachers and Leaders of Distinction are recognized for their distinguished contribution to education and are asked to participate in Golden Apple programs.

2019

Teachers of Distinction
John Bierbaum, Normal Community West High School, Normal
Jacob Carlson, Civic Memorial High School, Bethalto
Margaret Dobbertin, Marengo Community High School, Marengo
Robert Edwards, Phoenix Military Academy, Chicago
Elizabeth Farrow, Oak Park and River Forest High School, Oak Park
Robert Fitzgerald, University High School, Normal
Tammy Hannah, Cahokia High School, Cahokia
Joshua Heinen, Elmwood Park High School, Elmwood Park
Brian Hurley, Reavis High School, Burbank
Tristan Kumor, Ridgewood High School, Norridge
Wendy Louis, Putnam County High School, Granville
Libby Magee, O'Fallon Township High School, O Fallon
Kathleen Mesterharm, Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights
Leann Price, Illini Central High School, Mason City
Athenia Travis, Southside Occupational, Academy Chicago
Erica Tuke, Highland Park High School, Highland Park
Scott Wetendorf, Bartlett High School, Bartlett

2018

Teachers of Distinction
Lisset Carrasco, Grover Cleveland Elementary School, Chicago
Jodi Christoforou, Olive-Mary Stitt Elementary School, Arlington Heights
Nancy Cordova, Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts & Dual Language, Chicago
Ann Fehser, John Laidlaw Elementary School, Western Springs
Maureen Gallagher, Arthur Dixon Elementary School, Chicago
Michael Golub, Mary Gage Peterson Elementary, Chicago
Saskia Gorospe-Rombouts, Academy for Global Citizenship, Chicago
Melissa Halusek, Pleasantdale Elementary School, La Grange
Melissa Holland, Jordan Community Elementary School, Chicago
Rebecca Kelly, Arbor View Elementary School, Glen Ellyn
Alyssa Lipuma, Brook Park Elementary School, La Grange Park
Dawn Majer, Ardmore Elementary School, Villa Park
Xenia Martinez-Downs, Little Village Academy, Chicago
Caitlin Reusche, Suder Montessori Magnet School, Chicago
Lisa Washington Kuzel, The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago
Brittany Williams, Brentano Math & Science Academy, Chicago
Kary Zarate, George B. Swift Specialty School, Chicago

Leaders of Distinction

Victor Iturralde, Principal, Solorio Academy High School, Chicago
Jason Patera, Head of School, The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Chicago
Jose M. Torres, President, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora

2017

Teachers of Distinction
Cindy Adler, Chute Middle School, Evanston
Jessica Aranda, Joseph E. Gary Elementary School, Chicago
Michelle Brezek, Heritage Middle School, Berwyn
Rick Coppola, South Loop Elementary School, Chicago
Ann Cvitkovic, Lake Bluff Middle School, Lake Bluff
Maureen DeVoss, Lotus Elementary School, Fox Lake
Shannon Dickinson, Chute Middle School, Evanston
David Downing, Northbrook Junior High School, Northbrook
Deborah Glowacki, John Palmer Elementary School, Chicago
Lynn Gorey, Maercker Elementary School, Westmont
Brigette Hurst, Grove Avenue School, Barrington
Kelli Kielusiak, St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, Chicago
Dr. James O'Malley, Thomas A. Edison Elementary, Chicago
Sharon Ponder, Carter G. Woodson Elementary, Chicago
Hala Qato, Aqsa School, Bridgeview
Berenice Salas, Academy for Global Citizenship, Chicago
Tyra Stall, Prince of Peace Catholic School, Lake Villa
Jane Szybowicz, Fox River Grove Middle School, Fox River Grove

Leaders of Distinction
Dr. Christopher Brake, Norman Bridge Elementary School, Chicago
Michael Demovsky, Bartlett High School, Bartlett
Dalyn Drown, Burr Oak Academy and Burr Oak School, Calumet Park
Rigo Hernandez, Josiah L. Pickard Elementary School, Chicago
Dr. Brian Horn, Century Junior High School, Orland Park
Dorothy Jeter, Washington School, Evanston
Docilla Pollard, Andrew Carnegie Elementary School, Chicago
Jeffry Prickett, Richard Bernotas Middle School, Crystal Lake

2016

Teachers of Distinction
Michael Ayala, John Hersey, Arlington Heights 
Colleen Backer, St. Charles North, St. Charles
Stewart Bailey, Carl Sandburg, Orland Park
John Camardella, Prospect High School, Mt. Prospect
Edward Cisneros, Multicultural Academy of Scholarship, Chicago
Timothy DeBoer, Joliet Township, Joliet
Emily Drown, Morgan Park Academy, Chicago
Mark Hibner, Palatine High School, Palatine
Mark Janka, Young Women’s Leadership Charter, Chicago
Justin Johnson, Niles West, Skokie
LaQuesha Martin, Thornton Fractional South, Lansing
Peter McNulty, Loyola Academy, Wilmette
Erin Neidt, John Hancock College Prep, Chicago
Joshua Norten, Cary-Grove Community, Cary
Christine Saxman, Deerfield High School, Deerfield
Jessica Stovall , Oak Park & River Forest, Oak Park
Lisa Thyer, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Palos Hills
Benjamin Walker, Walter Payton College Prep, Chicago
Claire Walter, The Wolcott School, Chicago

Leaders of Distinction
Daniel Krause, Willowbrook High School, Villa Park
Dr. Erin Roche, William H. Prescott Elementary, Chicago
Maurico E. Segovia, Darwin Elementary, Chicago

2015

Teachers of Distinction
Joanna Angelopoulos, Gray M. Sanborn, Palatine
Gretchen Brinza, STEM Magnet Academy, Chicago
Janet Burke, Serena Hills Elementary School, Chicago Heights
Joel Carlovsky, Namaste Charter School, Chicago
Julie Chalberg, Eugene Field School, Park Ridge
Gregory Daniels, Oakton Elementary School, Evanston
Jennifer Fanelli, Mitchell Elementary School, Chicago
Christine Jackson, Lincoln Elementary School, Bellwood
Andrea Macksood, Oakton Elementary School, Evanston
Antonio Martinez, McKinley Elementary School, Elgin
Kimberly Minarich, Fairmont Elementary School, Lockport
Sarah Mueller, North Elementary School, Franklin Park
Paul Nudelman, Henking School, Glenview
Rebecca Sinclair, New Field School, Chicago
Marcia Thompson, Fox Meadow Elementary School, South Elgin
Stephanie Tominov, St. Genevieve School, Chicago
Amanda Willey, Lake Bluff Elementary School, Lake Bluff
Scott Zagalak, Alcott College Prep School, Chicago
Nancy Zider, Pioneer Elementary School, Bolingbrook
André Zielinski, Stuart R. Paddock Elementary School, Palatine

2014 

Teachers of Distinction
Lori Anderson, Grove Avenue Elementary, Barrington
Trent Anderson, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Chicago
Kim Van Voorhees Bell, Lake Forest Country Day School, Lake Forest
Stephen Boeckman, Wilmette Junior High School, Wilmette
Rebecca Boncher, KIPP Ascend Charter School, Chicago
Vita Carnduff, River Trail School, Gurnee
Linda Green, Illinois School, Park Forest
Kristin Frank, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago
Alessandra Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Hoffman Estates
Jamison Lambert, Holy Family School, Chicago
William Marsland, Stone Scholastic Academy, Chicago
Christopher McCabe, Emiliano Zapata Academy, Chicago
Jacquelyn Negus, Quest Academy, Palatine
Monique Redeaux, Donald L. Morrill Math & Science Specialty School, Chicago
Bill Singerman, Ancona School, Chicago
Ana Solis, Oscar Mayer Magnet School, Chicago
Joanne Wegscheid, Edison Middle School, Wheaton
Queala Wells, Amandla Charter School, Chicago
Jonathan Zielinski, Drummond Montessori Magnet, Chicago

2013

Teachers of Distinction
Ryan Brown - Hoffman Estates High School, Hoffman Estates
Eugene Chung - Deerfield High School, Deerfield
Jason Crean - Lyons Township High School, Western Springs
Peter Duffer - Buffalo Grove High School, Buffalo Grove
Baker Franke - University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago
Manuel Gonzalez - Oak Park & River Forest High School, Oak Park
Allison Hennings - Oak Park & River Forest High School, Oak Park
Joanna Hoglund - Eric Solorio Academy High School, Chicago
Dennis Kass - Infinity Math, Science, and Technology High School, Chicago
Helen Lawrence - Hampshire High School, Hampshire
Diana O’Connor - Lakes Community High School, Lake Villa
Mike Piskel - Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook
Alexa Rodheim - Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove Village
Ernesto Saldivar - Jones College Preparatory High School, Chicago
Sandra Shimon - Prosser Career Academy High School, Chicago
Ronald Towns - Christian Fenger Academy High School, Chicago 
Kimberly Williams - Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale 
Greg Wojcik - Glenbrook South High School, Glenview

2012

Teachers of Distinction
Monica Biegel - Braeside Elementary School, Highland Park
Elizabeth Chase-Vivas - Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Oak Park
Maria del Rosario Hempen - Lake Forest Country Day School, Lake Forest
Tricia Michele Fuglestad - Dryden Elementary School, Arlington Heights
Katie Golden - Polaris Charter Academy, Chicago
Danya Greenberg - Rockland Elementary School, Libertyville
Allison Griffin - Ariel Community Academy, Chicago
Kelly Hinds - Frederick Stock School, Chicago
Ryan Page Jagutis - New Field Elementary School, Chicago
Judy Hilary Kim - Oak Terrace Elementary School, Highwood
David Meekhof - Wayne Thomas Elementary School, Highland Park
Jennifer Nelson - New Field Primary School, Chicago
Lindsey Ryan Petlak - Indian Trail Elementary School, Highland Park
Shannon Marie Zozaski - Flossmoor Hills Elementary School, Flossmoor

2011

Teachers of Distinction
Scott Baeseman - Lake Forest Country Day School, Lake Forest
Erica Barraza - Lotus Elementary School, Spring Grove
Barbara Binversie - Deer Path Middle School East, Lake Forest
Tiffany Brugman - Henry C. Pierce School of International Studies, Chicago
Meg Burns - Gallistel Language Academy, Chicago
Beverly Clancy-Nunn - Dawes Elementary School, Chicago
Rick Coppola - John B. Drake Elementary School, Chicago
Teresa DeSantiago - Richard J. Daley Academy, Chicago
Chandra Garcia - William H. Ray Elementary
Staci Garner - University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago
Sharon Kranz - Roslyn Road Elementary School, Barrington
Martha Loza - Little Village Academy, Chicago
Leah Lunde - Wilmette Junior High School, Wilmette
Katie Lyons - National Teachers Academy, Chicago
Jennifer Magiera - National Teachers Academy, Chicago
Anne Oberdzinski - Polaris Charter Academy, Chicago
Bradley Parker - Josephine C. Locke Elementary School, Chicago
Talyia Riemer - Daniel Boone Elementary School, Chicago
Katie Schneider - Tarkington School of Excellence, Chicago
Lisa Simoncelli-Bulak - Westdale Elementary, Northlake
Matthew Sniadecki - Jefferson Junior High School, Naperville

2010

Teachers of Distinction
Mike DiMatteo, Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale
Christopher Esposito, Downers Grove South High School, Downers Grove
Emily Feltes-Maslanka, Farragut Career Academy, Chicago
Marilyn Gilbert-Mitchell, Percy L. Julian High School, Chicago
John Gonczy, Mount Carmel High School, Chicago
Michael Heinz, NBCT, Niles West High School, Skokie
Dr. Roz Iasillo, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, Chicago
Paul J. Karafiol, NBCT, Walter Payton College Prep H.S., Chicago
Luis Navarro, Richard T. Crane Tech Prep Common H.S, Chicago
Leo Park, Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago
Michael Pond, Lindblom Math & Science Academy, Chicago
Ryan Rockaitis, Deerfield High School, Deerfield
Kelli Rushek, TEAM Englewood Community Academy, Chicago
Yolanda Sanchez, Benito Juarez Academy, Chicago
Frederick Schill, The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Chicago
Jennifer Trejo, NBCT, William Howard Taft High School, Chicago
Darren Tuggle, Kelvyn Park High School, Chicago
Dr. Mark Vondracek, Evanston Township High School, Evanston
Jeanne Walker, Orr Academy High School, Chicago
Jeffrey Yordy, Glenbrook South High School, Glenview 

2009

Teachers of Distinction
Enid Alvarez, Lincoln School, Blue Island
Sandra Bennett, Liberty Elementary School, Carpentersville
Christine Beukema, Finkl Academy, Chicago
Rachel Binole, Grand Prairie School, Frankfort
Barbara Cataldo, Sipley Elementary School, Woodridge
Pamela Ciway, White Elementary School, Batavia
Alicia Costas, Jose de Diego Community Academy, Chicago
Sara Covington, St. Leonard School, Berwyn
Deborah Graziano, Carpenter Elementary School, Park Ridge
Kristin Kaczmarek, Grove School, Northbrook
Scott Naber, Longfellow School, Oak Park
Carol Navarro, Pulaski Fine Arts Academy, Chicago
Colin Reynolds, Mann Elementary School, Oak Park
Jaime Shanahan, Sanborn School, Palatine 
Gail Sherwood, Edgebrook School, Chicago
Sabrina Silverstein, Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez Elementary School, Chicago
Megan Whitney, Audubon Elementary School, Chicago

2008

Teachers of Distinction
Margaret Burns, Gallistel Language Academy, Chicago
Jennifer Cho, National Teachers Academy, Chicago
Lisa Espinosa, Ruiz School, Chicago
Heather Kelsey, St. Gall School, Chicago
Virginia Kogen, Madero School, Chicago
Brenda Kraber, Glen Grove School, Glenview
Sharon Kranz, Roslyn Road  Elementary School, Barrington
Patrick McAndrew, Beye Elementary School, Oak Park
Mary Meade, Christopher School, Chicago
Mark Nelson, Stone Academy, Chicago
Esther Ohito, Pershing West Magnet School, Chicago
Claudine Randolph, University of Chicago Charter School - Donoghue Elementary, Chicago
Veronica Ruelas, Academy of St. Benedict the African, Chicago 

2007

Teachers of Distinction
John Belcaster, Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago
Jeffrey Berger-White, Deerfield High School, Deerfield
William Bultman, Lincoln-Way Central High School, New Lenox
Susan Khalaieff, Geneva  High School, Geneva
Glenn Lid, Proviso East High School, Maywood
Zakieh Mohammed, Roberto Clemente High School, Chicago
John O'Connor, New Trier High School, Winnetka
Scott Reed, Niles North High School, Skokie
Robert Rodey, Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights
Stephanie Skizas, Glenbard Soiuth High School, Glen Ellyn