An apple for the teacher

Foley named finalist in prestigious Golden Apple Awards

COAL CITY ELEMENTARY School teacher Amy Foley has been named a finalist in the prestigious Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

Ann Gill

It was an exciting day at Coal City Elementary School, as word arrived Tuesday morning that one of its teachers was named a finalist in the prestigious Golden Apple Awards.
Amy Foley, who teaches third grade, is one of just 32 finalists for the award that recognizes excellence in teaching.
“We couldn’t be prouder of her. Her hard work and dedication to her students, school and colleagues is evident daily and we know she is very deserving of this award,” said Jennifer Kenney, the school’s principal.
It was around 8 a.m. when an e-mail arrived at the school announcing Foley’s selection as finalist, and within minutes the news was being shared with district staff and of course with the individuals who work and learn in her building.
The Golden Apple Awards are sponsored by the Golden Apple Foundation, a non-profit committed to preparing, honoring and supporting educators who advance educational opportunities for students.
It was founders Mike and Patricia Koldyke who established the award in 1986 to recognize excellent teachers, individuals they felt did not receive adequate recognition for their contributions to building a stronger and better educated society.
The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching honor outstanding teachers for having lasting positive effects on students’ lives and school communities.
“The vital role of teachers in the lives of students, their families and their communities has been elevated even more over the last year. The resilience teachers have demonstrated while navigating teaching during the global pandemic and through a time of racial awakening, while providing the high quality educational and social emotional support students need, has been tremendously impactful,” said Alan Mather, president of the Golden Apple Foundation.
Foley was one of 708 pre-kindergarten to third grade educators from 67 Illinois counties to be nominated for the award, just 4.5% of that record setting number were named finalists.
Foley is believed to be the first teacher in the district to be selected as a Golden Apple finalist.
“We are extremely proud of Amy,” Kenney said, noting the Golden Apple is the highest award a teacher can receive.
Among the 32 finalists, 10 teachers will be selected as Golden Apple Fellows, the surprise announcement slated to come this spring.
The award recipients will receive a tuition free spring sabbatical at Northwestern University, a special professional development seminar series, a $5,000 cash award and life membership in the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.
Editor’s note: Attempts to reach Foley, who was in class on Tuesday, were unsuccessful by press time.