Golden Apple Foundation is very pleased to announce the five Golden Apple Recipients for 2012. The teachers, who were surprised in their classrooms today by Golden Apple Foundation Board Members and Sponsors, principals, superintendents, family and representatives from the media, are:

  • Sonia O. Belmontes-Barbour Language Academy-Rockford

2nd Grade - 14 Years Teaching Experience

  • Bev Cicolello-Fairview Early Education Center-Rockford

Pre-K- 32 Years Teaching Experience

  • Jennifer Egen-Rockford Lutheran Academy-Rockford

2nd Grade - 9 Years Teaching Experience

  • Debbie Lecuyer-Kinnikinnick School-Roscoe

4th Grade - 33 Years Teaching Experience

  • Gina Tuula-Whitman Post Elementary School-Rockton

5th Grade - 8 Years Teaching Experience 

These distinguished Pre-K-5th grade teachers were among twenty outstanding finalists representing the public and non-public school districts of Winnebago and Boone County. Since January, all twenty have participated in a rigorous selection process. They were observed in their classrooms on four separate occasions by trained Golden Apple community volunteers, and in the final stage, were interviewed by teams of Golden Apple Foundation volunteers.

The newest Golden Apple teachers will be welcomed to the 16th Annual Golden Apple Banquet with a Red Carpet Arrival on Friday, April 20th at the beautiful Radisson Hotel. Excellence in Education will be celebrated and each Golden Apple Teacher will be honored and presented with a cash award and a professional development stipend from Golden Apple Foundation, a desktop computer for their classroom from Rockford Computers for Schools, computer software compliments of Entre Computer Solutions, a personal laptop compliments of Supplycore and the Terry Ingrassia Professional Development Scholarship at Rockford College. They will also be inducted into the Golden Apple Teacher Academy where they join 150 members in continuing to positively impact the education profession through mentoring and professional development.

Next year, teachers in 6th-12th grades in both public and ISBE recognized non-public schools in Winnebago and Boone Counties will be eligible for the award.

For more information or for reservations for the 16th Annual Golden Apple Banquet held on Friday, April 20, 2012 contact the Golden Apple Foundation office at 226-4180 or contact Lori Berkes-Nelson, Executive Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..