Golden Apple Foundation and award sponsor, Sunil Puri presented the 7th Annual Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award today to LuAnn Widergren, Principal of Brookview Elementary School in Rockford. Surprised in a gymnasium full of students, Mrs. Widergren was congratulated by members of the Golden Apple Foundation Board of Directors, Rockford School District Administrators, family members, Brookview staff and parents. 


Sunil Puri, a major sponsor for Golden Apple Foundation’s recognition of teachers, sponsors this prestigious award because he believes that principals are “unsung heroes”.  “Principals are the bridges that bring together parents, students, teachers and administrators to effectively lead the culture of learning in our schools.” Mr. Puri has said.

Mrs. Widergren was selected from a large group of nominees for her strength in leadership during difficult times, for her inspirational ability to encourage growth in teachers and for her caring leadership that creates a culture of respect and high expectations. Richard Toppe, one of Mrs. Widergren’s nominators stated, “LuAnn nurtures improvement and believes there are no such things as mistakes if they are lessons learned.” Teachers are held to high standards and because of the working climate she has established people seek to go above and beyond expectations.

Research shows that a critical factor in a school’s success is the competence and leadership of its principal.

Superintendent Dr. Robert Willis stated that under the leadership of Mrs. Widergren, Brookview student performance has improved markedly over the past several years, as measured by ISAT scores. In fact, Brookview rates as the second highest Rockford Public Elementary School, second to the gifted school.

“Mrs. Widergren leads by example!” says Michele Larson, PTO President at Brookview. “She enthusiastically attends every PTO Board meeting, PTO meeting and school event. She’s been instrumental in keeping parents informed through electronic weekly newsletters and social media outlets. She rallies students to help our community by leading a Salvation Army food drive. She definitely makes a difference every single day!”

Mrs. Widergren will receive compliments of the Puri Family, $1,500 cash to be used at Brookview School and $500 in Volcano Falls gift certificates to reward excellent students which will be awarded at the 16th Annual Golden Apple Banquet on April 20, 2012 at the Radisson Hotel.

Mrs. Widergren was among a large group of nominees who exhibit outstanding school leadership. The following elementary principals were among the list of nominees:

Christina Ulferts-Froberg

Dave Nold-Carlson

Dr. Pamela Nichols-White Swan

Ray Owens-Walker

Emma Gentry-Thompson

Megan Johnson-Washington Academy

Becky Girard-Maple

Patrick Flanagan-St. Rita

Jody Dahlseng-Perry

Don Erickson (posthumous)-Alpine Academy

John Fitzsimmons-St. James

Debbie Anderson-Kishwaukee-Garden Prairie

Kristina Crawford-Manchester

Recognition of elementary and secondary principals rotates each year with secondary principals being recognized in 2013.