Chicago-area teachers receive Golden Apple Awards

May 11, 2010 (CHICAGO)

ABC7's Theresa Gutierrez takes a look at two of the winners.

Dr. David Baar, the choral music director at Providence St. Mel School, was surprised to find out that he is the first Chicago teacher to be recognized with the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Excellence Tuesday morning.

"Thank you very much. I'm not sure if they adore me or not," said Dr. Baar.

Baar spends his summers selecting the right music for his students who have performed throughout Illinois.

This is the 25th year that Golden Apple has been recognizing outstanding teachers.

"There is a commitment to the community, a sense of resilience, a belief that you cannot give up on any child and that every child can learn. All armed with this, these are teachers that show the rest of the world what excellent teaching at its best looks like," said Dominic Belmonte, Golden Apple Ceo.

Rosalind Kline-Thomas, algebra teacher at Michele Clark Academic Prep High School, was totally surprised to find out she is a Golden Apple recipient.

"I eat, sleep, and drink my students. We talk day and night, right? Everybody have my cell phone number, right? I put my all into it and I think it shows and the kids know it," said Kline-Thomas.

Kline, a former engineer who left corporate America to become a teacher, is in her second year of teaching.

"Kids have always been her heart, so this is her ministry," said Dorothy Brown, Kline-Thomas' mother.

"She is one of the teachers who I know who never have a down face and she always happy. And that's what I like about her. She a happy teacher," said Tiarra Bryant, Kline-Thomas' student.

This years' ten teachers were selected out of a pool of 562 nominees. The recipients receive a $3,000 cash award and a six-month tuition free sabbatical to study at Northwestern University.

The other teachers recognized Tuesday were Aaron Reedy of Kelly High School in Chicago; Jungson Moon at King College Prep High School on South Drexel; and Susan Harsa who teaches at St. Francis High School in Wheaton.

The other five Golden Apples will be handed out Wednesday.

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