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Golden Apple cites aspiring educators in Illinois Class of 2018

Golden Apple, an Illinois nonprofit committed to developing great teachers, has announced the induction of the 2018 class of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois.

goldenapplescholarslogoThe 2018 Scholars include 229 young people who have chosen to dedicate themselves to a career teaching students in Illinois schools-of-need. The program is uniquely designed to prepare future teachers to thrive in the most challenging school environments where more resilient teachers are desperately needed. In response, this year marks the fourth consecutive year that Golden Apple has accepted more than 200 scholars into the program, a program that has doubled in size in the past five years.

While pursuing their degree in teaching, scholars participate in Summer Institute experiences in which they spend time working directly with students, have opportunities to reflect on their teaching practice, and receive instruction and mentorship from award-winning Golden Apple teachers.

This year, more than 800 scholars will participate in these Institutes, preparing to serve thousands of Illinois students upon their graduation. Within these Summer Institutes, scholars will acquire more than two times the classroom teaching experience garnered by traditionally-prepared teachers. Golden Apple’s support continues into the first years of teaching with comprehensive on-site mentoring.

Golden Apple Scholars represent a diverse group of high-achieving young people from across the state of Illinois with more than half being first-generation college students. Newly-inducted scholars maintained nearly a 4.0 average weighted high school GPA and greater than a 3.5 college GPA.

“In response to the urgent demand for qualified teachers, the scholars program is poised to deliver exponential growth to meet that need. We are proud to prepare highly effective teachers for schools-of-need,” said Alicia Winckler, president and CEO of Golden Apple.

Here are Southern Illinois members of the Golden Apple Scholars Class of 2018. Their names are followed by hometown and university.

Abigail Byrnside, O’Fallon, Illinois State University
Kelly Damann, Mascoutah, McKendree University
Max DiPasquale, Belleville, Millikin University
Madison Graham, Palmyra, Illinois State University
Amanyae Hubbard, Belleville, Illinois College
Hannah Jones, Sesser, McKendree University
Aliana Kottabi, Godfrey, Illinois State University
Emily Meneese, Marion, McKendree University

More than 1,000 scholars currently are teaching across Illinois. Visit for more information.

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