CHICAGO (WLS) -- A teacher taking on the challenges of the pandemic earns top honors in the education world.
Quinlan O'Grady is beloved by students and staff at Theophilus Schmid Elementary School on Chicago's South Side where she teaches second and third grade.
"We are honoring Quinlan because not only does she have high expectations for her students, she supports building them up academically," said Yelly Guy.
The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching is a prestigious award only given to 10 teachers in the state, out of 708. It comes with $5,000 in cash and a spring sabbatical.
The award recognizes outstanding teachers for their positive roles in their students' lives.
"I know it was an amazing group of educators so I just feel very grateful, they were really supportive in this whole process," said O'Grady.
Miss O'Grady will also play an important role preparing the next generation of teachers in future programs. She credits her loyal students for her success.
"It's definitely been a challenging year but I think if anything, this has highlighted the resiliency of our students, our scholars, their families. They have been so supportive. My class has almost perfect attendance every single day. I really credit the parents for that," said O'Grady.
Golden Apple awarded to Schmid Elementary School teacher