The family of Don Zimmerman, a longtime Rockford educator and co-founder of the Golden Apple
Foundation, Rockford University and the Foundation, seeking another way to honor Don’s passion for
encouraging excellence in local education, united to offer the 2020 Don Zimmerman Golden Apple
Foundation scholarship for an area teacher to earn his/her first master’s degree in Rockford University’s
program. Each candidate was required to first gain acceptance into the program, then submit letters of
recommendation and an application, including an essay. A committee including Golden Apple Academy
members reviewed the documents, then virtually interviewed finalists before reaching their tough

On Friday, May 29, 2020, Golden Apple awarded its inaugural recipient. Don’s son, Brad Zimmerman; GA
board president, Michelle Gorham; and Rockford University president, Dr. Eric Fulcomer donned facial
masks and took flowers, wine and R.U. gifts to Meghan Baylor’s Rockford home along with media
partner, WTVO-17/Fox39, for a surprise presentation. Meghan has been teaching for eight years, the
last four as a French teacher at Boylan High School. Though she teaches language courses, Meghan is
also known in the Rockford arts community as a teaching artist with Rockford Area Arts Council and as
Rockford Dance Company faculty. She shared in her application that achieving her MAT from R.U. would
strengthen the power of knowledge “on both the giving and receiving end.” She is eager to pursue this
advanced degree which would most certainly “bolster the credentials, stability and expertise to secure
[her] career for decades to come.” Congratulations, Meghan Baylor!