Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program™

Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program™

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 thirty-seven years ago as a way to enhance public education by recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching, the Foundation has awarded 213 educators with the prestigious Golden Apple. 


Each year begins with an invitation to students, parents, teachers, administrators and the general public to nominate any School District of Lee County teacher who is making an extraordinary contribution to our students. 

Selection Process:

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 thirty 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.

Golden Apple Banquet:

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 Recipients, Finalists, Teachers of Distinction and members of the Academy of Teachers.

2024 GA TODs
Copy of 2024 Golden Apple Teachers (1)
2024 Finalists for News Press

Golden Apple Formal Announcement

To celebrate the kick-off of the Golden Apple season, thirty finalists, their principals, and sponsors are invited to the annual Golden Apple Formal Finalist Announcement held at the Foundation office. This event gives everyone the opportunity to meet the finalists over food, drinks, and conversation. This gives the finalists the chance to meet and learn more about one another as their Golden Apple journey starts.

Golden Apple McDonald's Breakfast

The annual McDonald’s Breakfast is the second opportunity for sponsors to recognize the thirty outstanding teacher representatives of the School District of Lee County. Finalists and sponsors are invited to breakfast provided by McDonald’s, who have been partners of the program since the beginning of the program. This is where they unveil the famous trayliners with all thirty finalists that are used in local McDonald's in the area.


Golden Apple Social

Hosted by Chico’s FAS, Inc, the annual Golden Apple Social is open to all thirty Finalists, Teachers of Distinction, Major and Silver Sponsors, Principals, and members of the Academy of Teachers. This mixer allows everyone to meet peers and share practices in the classroom, as well as personal inquiries, all while having a great time and having the chance to win cool prizes in the raffle!

Golden Apple Surprise Day

Once all recipients are decided, sponsors, board members, the selection committee, press, and staff hop on a chartered bus to surprise the six Golden Apple teachers in their classroom. The distinct honor of being recognized as a Golden Apple recipient is shared with the students and staff at each respective school.


Golden Apple Meet and Greet

The annual Golden Apple Meet & Greet allows Major Sponsors and Recipients to socialize in an intimate setting. This private dinner gives more insight on why each recipient is a great representative of the teaching profession. It serves as a great networking event as well. This year FineMark National Bank & Trust sponsored this event.

Golden Apple Banquet

The Golden Apple Banquet is like the Academy Awards for the teachers of the School District of Lee County Public Schools. The six recipients are guests of honor at the annual Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Banquet. This elegant black-tie affair allows the community to recognize the Golden Apple Recipients, as well as the Teachers of Distinction, members of the Academy of Teachers, and all teachers throughout the School District of Lee County.


This year's banquet was held on Friday, April 19th, 2024 at Caloosa Sound Convention Center.


Thank you to our wonderful sponsors!!

GA Silver Sponsors
Table Sponsors GA

Academy of Teachers

The Academy of Teachers is made up of the 213 wonderful teachers that have received the Golden Apple Award. Once awarded, each recipient has the honor of being inducted into this distinct group of educators that embody what it means to be an educator.

Georgia Brown
Janice H. Cook
William A. Dubee
Betty Larkin
Lee E. Werst, Sr.
Kenneth Wright

Daniel Aleman
Susie Kinkead
Susan Miller
Amy Sijan
Diane Stewart
Vicki Stockman Wilson

Carl Burnside
Robert Fain
Susan Fussell
Lucille Schonbrun
Sybil Thompson

Howard Berryman
Karen Bieber Connors
John Miller, Jr.
Louise Taylor
Deborah Tihen

Linda Campochiaro Buckley
Timothy Ferguson
Judith Stacy Gault
Mark Kelly
Denise York

Maryjane Boisvert
Rosanne Lieberman
Cindy McClung
Ruth Rigby
Lynn Titus

Dorothy Gorton
Kimberly Lunger
Betty Maher
Carol Shelton
Connie Whiteside

Lyn K. Brown
Linda Levine-Brown
Lisa B. Shirey
Mary Kaye Stevens
Lemuel Teal

Dorothy Polack Jeter
Betsy Lewton
Ceclyn Mullings
Cheryl Powell
Gretchen Wahlberg

Tese Bedwell Willis
Marcia Fain
Leona Lynn Herrell
Richard Lewton
Georgianna McDaniel

Irene Linn
Jandy McCoy
Leanne Migliore
Donna Robson
Nancy Wiseman

Stacey Chadwick Brown
Derrick L. Donnell
Helen Garcia-Valdez
Betsy Binkley Henry
Dorothy Lillian Kiesel

Ingela Conley
Catherine DeCamp
Walter McGee
Caren Pearson
Susan Pearson
Evelyn Rivera

Hana Z. Ahmad
Cheryl Dooley
Charlotte Gomez-Lippincott
Jeff Kulie
Lorna Matteson
Beth Williamson

Karen Cabai
Carolyn Gora
Linda Graham
Carlos Negron
Peter Rausch
Aimee Roles-Coston

Brandie Berry
Lori Faasse Brooks
Susan Joiner
Dianne Konkel
Francine Waltman
Debra Wheeler

Mary Anne Delacenserie
Jamie Newlin Kirschner
Joseph LaGrange
Ron Riis
Pamela Schwantes
Michelle Talbott

Ileane Flores
Erin Groeneveld
SFC John Hyler
Beverly “B.J.” Nelson
Patricia Scott
John Witt

Mark Dahlberg
Alex Dworzanski
Virginia Diane Elswick
Jane Nordquist
Anita Ramirez
Jamie Reid

Lauri Ann Brown
Michael Cook
Jackie Lynn Corey
Terri Ganey
Patricia Loverock
Robert Snyder

Ella Grady
Jim Knecht
Debbie Leith
Dyann Miller
Suzanne Roberts
Dawn Voyer

Debra Goff
Leisha Roy
Tilisa Skerczak
Debbie Suhrie
Jennifer Tomlinson
Mirta “Silvia” Torres

Kristen Cohen
Morgan Kirk
Nancy Loughlin
Kathryn McKinnon
Lisa Vazquez
Renee Wagner-Pachiva

Candyce Bond
Patricia Buitrago
Jennifer Einstein
James Guffey
Donald Payne
Paula Sizemore

Billy Lansberry
Heather Millican
Charles O’Connor
Laura Reed
Eric Riemenschneider
Kimberly Stone Smith

Karen Green
Amy Mayer
Barbara Rebeor
Robert Schalmo
Fernando Vazquez
Morgan Wright

Kevin Black
Khrystine Bosland
Sara Kohlhauff
Joseph Mallon
Patrick Miller
Timothy Schnabel

Gregory Balan
James Kroll
Adam Molloy
Christine Morgan
Kerri Toscano
Keith White

Joelle Beverly
Kelly Mains
Monica Nelson
Cherie Sukovich
Jason Thomashefsky
Christian Zimmerman

Jesse Bryson
Patty Gair
Vanessa Lynch
Richard Romano
Milagros Sowers
Mariah Washington

Matthew Bourbina
Samantha Hutchinson
Esteban Jaramillo
Patrick Hanrahan
Brooke Przespolewski
Maria Rose

Stacey Anderson
Courtney Black
Kristy Caudill
Kristina Gale
Amanda Rose
James Rose

Brittany Camp
Jaclyn Baker
Mark Drew
Jennifer Kida
Laurie Nelson
Nancy Rossi

Jaime Ayres
Nathan Buehler
Joseph Camputaro
Melissa Holland
Marylin Prysi
Bryan Williams

Ryan Arciero
Taylor Ashby
Steven McGinley
Stephanie Osterhouse
Phillip Savage
Kaleigh Stewart

Luis Fisher
Tamara Hunter
Laura Jordan
Lindsey Maxwell
Joni Pelletier
Stephanie Yanik

Christine Bartz
Sara Kizzire
Jill Klausing
Jessica Lisi
Michelle Smith
Sarah Thornburg


“Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning.”

— Robert John Meehan