Local teachers honored with Golden Apple Awards

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Dozens of local teachers have been honored for their service to students.

The 40 teachers from public and private schools across Charlottesville and Albemarle County were recognized Thursday night with Golden Apple Awards.

The teachers were selected based on their demonstrated excellence in the classroom, innovative instructional strategies and techniques, and their involvement in the community.

Nominations came from students, parents, members of the communities and other educators.

"This is one of the most important evenings for the future prosperity of our county," said Albemarle County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas. "These teachers who are being recognized are developing the business and organizational leaders of tomorrow. They are connecting students to such valuable lifelong skills as creativity and problem solving, communication and community service, and teamwork."

"All successful careers begin at the moment a teacher connects with a young student in the classroom for the first time," said Charlottesville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins, citing the evening's guest speaker, Elizabeth Cromwell, president of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. "The inspiration that happens at that moment and the passion it generates for knowledge and discovery remains a guiding influence for a lifetime. That's worth celebrating every day."

The selected teachers represent less than two percent of the teachers in the area's public and private schools.

They were selected by a committee that included Dr. Kevin Castner, Bekah Saxon, Jakki Crocker, Rhonda Angel, Karen Marcus and Jo Vining.

The honorees are April Barefoot of Agnor-Hurt Elementary, Christopher Lennon of Albemarle High, Cynthia Shepard of Baker-Butler Elementary, Peter Bonds of Blue Ridge School, Elizabeth Strauss of Broadus Wood Elementary, Trevor Bricker of Brownsville Elementary, Melissa Mitchem of Buford Middle, Andrew LaPrade of Burley Middle, Christopher Lorigan of Burnley-Moran Elementary, Olivia Eads Delph of Cale Elementary, Megan Panek of CATEC, Lindsay Lowdon of Charlottesville Catholic School, Will Cooke of Charlottesville High, Robin Ellis of Clark Elementary, Kate Kogge of Community Public Charter School, Susan Love of Covenant School, Atlanta Hutchins of Crozet Elementary, Kathleen Claus of Greenbrier Elementary, Lori Alridge of Greer Elementary, Lisa Boyce of Henley Middle, Marie Decker of Hollymead Elementary, Gabe Planas of Jouett Middle, Meghan Fenton of Jackson Via Elementary, Maelys Croce of Johnson Elementary, Michael McCrory of Lugo-McGinness Academy, Rachel Shamey of Meriwether Lewis Elementary, Meghan Streit of Monticello High, Emilie Pastorfield of Murray Elementary, Frances Racette of Murray High, Matt Ewen of Red Hill Elementary, LeAnna Dalton of Scottsville Elementary, Jared Passmore of St. Anne's Belfield, Tal Thompson of Stone-Robinson Elementary, Keren Heckathorn of Stony Point Elementary, Heidi Morse of Sutherland Middle, Melissa Combs of Venable Elementary, Kevin Paquette of Walker Upper Elementary, Makenzie Crawford of Walton Middle, Monica Laux of Western Albemarle High, and Marian McCullough of Woodbrook Elementary.

Each teacher receives a Golden Apple statue, and eight got a $1,000 grant from Better Living Building Supply and Cabinetry for classroom programs next year. The grant recipients are Cooke, Dalton, Fenton, Kogge, Laux, Lowdon, Mitchem, and Shamey.

The Golden Apple Awards have been sponsored by Better Living Building Supply since their inception.

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