Suburban teacher becomes first Islamic school educator to receive Golden Apple Award

A suburban educator has become the first parochial Islamic school teacher to receive a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Golden Apple Foundation describes Laila El-Amin, teacher at Aqsa School in Bridgeview, as a "true role model for the students," adding that she has instilled values such as "perseverance, dedication, integrity, and the importance of striving for excellence."

El-Amin has taught foreign language and religious studies at the school for almost 30 years in, and has played many roles in helping to enrich the lives of students and other teachers, according to Golden Apple. Notably, the school added an honors weight to El-Amin's classes due to the depth and workload required of students. She currently heads the Arabic and Religion Department at the school.

El-Amin is a native of Sudan and is one of 10 Illinois high school teachers to be honored this week as 2016 Golden Apple recipients. Winners of the prestigious awards were chosen from a pool of more than 400 nominees.
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