Golden Apple Awards: Outstanding Lee County Teachers!

Golden Apple Awards: Outstanding Lee County Teachers!

Anyone can tell you that the year is divided up into four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter.

However, anyone from Southwest Florida may add that there are only two that matter: Season and Off-Season.

A region that thrives on tourism, Southwest Florida boasts a wide variety of natural, historic, and exciting attractions. The tourism industry brought approximately 4.8 million visitors to Lee County in 2013. Visitors and seasonal residents from across the Americas and Europe flood Southwest Florida each Season, eating at restaurants and visiting shops, attractions, hotels, and of course, our beautiful beaches.

These visitors help sustain our region through their tourism dollars and support. However, once the ice begins to melt up north, and the temperature rises here, these visitors and residents inevitably migrate back north, bringing Southwest Florida’s “Season” to a close once more.

Many locals view this as a chance to relax, regroup, and take vacations of our own. However, the seasons do not end when the snowbirds leave. Instead the focus shifts to perhaps yet another season: award season!

Lee County is fortunate to boast an overwhelming number of successful businesses and nonprofits that make an impact on our community. This is the time for Southwest Florida to recognize and appreciate the vastness and diversity of work that community members achieve during the year.

Perhaps one of the most well known and most prestigious awards is the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program, presented by The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. These awards recognize the incredible dedication to education that Lee County teachers display.

Established in 1987, the Golden Apple Award was originally designed to enhance public education by recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching. Students, parents, teachers, and school administrators are asked to submit nominations for public school teachers that are making a major impact in the lives of their students. Nominations are accepted, applications completed, and a designated selection committee made of community and business leaders ultimately choose the award recipients.

Before being selected, teachers are observed in action and interviewed extensively by the committee. Finally, six recipients are chosen and are honored at the special Annual Recognition Dinner. Finalists and Teachers of Distinction are also honored at this event. The Foundation received over 3,000 nominations for the 2014 award cycle, with 367 educators completing the application. 100 were recognized as Teachers of Distinction, 30 were declared finalists, and six special teachers from across the county and representing an array of schools and specialties, received the prestigious Golden Apple award.

Jon Romine, Landscape Architect and Partner at EnSite, is a proud to serve on the Board of Directors for The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. A large proponent of STEM education, the Foundation is the perfect partner for EnSite, working hand in hand to promote science and math based learning in the classroom.

Our entire team at Ensite wishes to thank the outstanding educators who received this year’s Golden Apple Award, finalists, and Teachers of Distinction. They each have made a significant impact on their students and demonstrated a commitment for excellence in education.

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