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Chicago Public Schools Home to 13 Golden Apple Awards Finalists for Excellence in Teaching

17 February 2022

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) proudly announces that nearly half of the 30 high school teacher finalists for the prestigious Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching are from the District. The 13 CPS finalists teach various subjects, from biology to social studies, the arts, and more in schools across the city.

“We are so proud of and grateful for all our educators but want to especially congratulate these 13 individuals who have obviously made a tremendous impact on their students, colleagues and communities,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “It is especially important and meaningful to highlight these educators for their dedication and commitment during the past two years and we sincerely believe they are already winners and our heroes.”

The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching honor outstanding teachers for creating lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and school communities. Teacher finalists demonstrate significant, positive impact on their students’ growth and learning. This year’s competition was limited to high school teachers as the program alternates honoring educators by various grade ranges.

“The recognition of these finalists reinforces what we already know - that the best are with CPS,” said Bogdana Chkoumbova, the District’s Chief Education Officer. “These educators made it through a highly competitive process to be named finalists but more importantly, they bring their outstanding skills and dedication to our students each day.”

The Complete list of Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching finalists were announced Tuesday and CPS will highlight each of the 13 finalists on the District’s website and social media over the next month. The 2022 CPS finalists are as follows:

  • Anne Boyle, Global Citizenship & World Studies, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

  • Cristen Chapman, Social Science, John Hancock College Preparatory

  • Robert Davis, Social Science, George Westinghouse College Prep

  • William Ejzak, English, Contemporary Literature and Media, Executive Functioning, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy

  • Alan Hennagir, English, Language and Composition, Film Study, Northside College Preparatory High School

  • Amy Jesionowski, English, Dance Theory and Performance, Nicholas Senn High School

  • Andrew Jones, Music, Air Force Academy High School

  • Anna Lane, United States History, Kelly College Prep

  • Laurel Kulig, Biology, CICS Northtown Academy High

  • Annette Olszewski, Theory of Knowledge, John F. Kennedy High School

  • Sharon Ponder-Ballard, English, Englewood STEM High School

  • Puja Ramaswamy, Music, Lake View High School

  • Jennifer Trejo, Art & Design, William Howard Taft High School

“These last two years have truly taken a toll on teachers, staff, families, and students,” said Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple. “While great teachers have always been impactful, this is particularly true during this past year, where these finalists have demonstrated the commitment to providing ongoing support and high-quality instruction to their students and we are proud to honor them.”

“Teachers - like these finalists - are in high demand across our state and country,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of Golden Apple. “The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognizes and elevates this critical profession. With a growing teacher shortage, we need more highly effective teachers to positively impact the lives of students in all of our communities.”

The selected 2022 Golden Apple Award recipients will be surprised by the Foundation and their respective districts in the spring. Northwestern University generously provides a spring sabbatical to award recipients at no cost. Each recipient receives a $5,000 cash award. Award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who play an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in the Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs - which are dedicated to addressing the teacher shortage in Illinois.

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