In Florida, Golden Apple Awards are presented to responsible teachers within various school districts throughout the state.
Teachers who won the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition while teaching at Villas:
• Dorothy Kiesel (1999)
• Mary Anne Delacenserie (2004)
• Robert Schalmo (2013)
The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program™ was the first major project founded and developed by The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc.
Since its inception twenty-eight years ago as a way to enhance public education by recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching, the Foundation has awarded 165 educators with the prestigious "Golden Apple." Each year begins with an invitation to students, parents, teachers, administrators and the general public to nominate any Lee County School District teacher who is making an extraordinary contribution to our students. Typically, more than 10,000 nomination forms are submitted with over 2,300 educators being nominated.
The Golden Apple Selection Committee, made up of community and business leaders, is charged with the arduous task of selecting the Golden Apple Recipients as the applications are reviewed and narrowed down to 30 finalists. Those finalists are personally interviewed and observed in their classrooms by the Selection Committee and six teachers are chosen as recipients of the Golden Apple Award.
The six recipients are guests of honor at the Annual Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Banquet. This elegant black-tie affair is an opportunity for the community to recognize the Lee County Golden Apple teachers, the 30 finalists, 100 Teachers of Distinction and members of the Academy of Teachers.
The Program was conceptualized and led by Linda and Bob Taylor with the purpose of achieving several specific goals:
• A clear focus on teachers as the most important element in a child's learning and development
• Appreciation for the dedication and skills of teachers
• Enhanced respect and status for the teaching profession
• Community wide understanding of the importance of high quality education