Graphic: Golden Apple Awards with border

An Apple for Teacher

2018 Golden Apple Award winners
Pictured left to right: Patrick Beale (GBR), Leslie S. Hunter (VEN), Latoya Brown (BUF), Sarah Lloyd (WLK), Harry Hill (LMA), Laura Schaaf (JON), Nicole Armstrong (CHS), Mary Johnston (BME), Jessica M. Taylor (CLK), Briana Barns (JV).

10 Charlottesville City Schools teachers were among area teachers recognized for their excellence in education at the 17th annual Golden Apple Awards ceremony on May 16, 2018.

Each year, one educator is selected from each public and private school in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Our winners this year are:  Latoya Brown (Buford Middle), Mary Johnston (Burnley-Moran Elementary), Nicole Armstrong (Charlottesville High, Black Knights), Jessica Taylor (Clark Elementary School), Briana Barns (Jackson-Via Elementary School), Laura Schaaf (Johnson Elementary), Harry Hill (Lugo-McGinness Academy), Leslie S. Hunter (Venable Elementary School), Sarah Lloyd (Walker Upper Elementary School), and Patrick Beale (Greenbrier Elementary School). Ms. Schaaf and Ms. Taylor were also two of eight lucky winners of the $1,000 Golden Apple Grant Awards drawing!

The Golden Apple Awards were established by Richard and Nancy Nunley in 2001 to recognize creativity, passion, and effective communication in the classroom.

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What makes these teachers so special? Here is what those who nominated them had to say:

Latoya Brown, 7th grade English, Buford Middle: “The 7th grade English students are actively engaged in learning, discussions, and projects through blending both paperback hardcopies and technology-based literature and writing. They have tremendous respect for her and hang on her every word.”

Mary Johnston, 3rd grade, Burnley-Moran Elementary:  “Not only does she expect her students to perform academically, she also attends to the social/emotional development of students. Mary’s dedication is visible in her connections to families.”

Nicole C. Armstrong, 9th grade English, Charlottesville High: “Nicole holds high standards for her students. She expects them to live out the excellence she sees in each of them. Nicole is an all-star team member and her commitment to our school extends beyond her classes. She has been instrumental in launching the Link Crew freshmen mentoring program.”

Jessica M. Taylor, 2nd grade, Clark Elementary:  “On top of the motivation and caring that she brings to her work, my son is also really learning!”

Patrick Beale, 4th grade, Greenbrier Elementary:  “He asks thought-provoking questions so that the students may take the things that they know and apply them to other situations – above and beyond the standard.”

Briana Barns, 4th grade, Jackson-Via:  “In Bree’s classroom, the students are clear on the expectations. There is a peace and calm that one can feel just by entering the door. It is the peace and calm of a teacher who loves her students and wants them to grown and achieve.”

Laura Schaaf, 3rd grade, Johnson Elementary:  “When a new subject was being introduced that day, Laura always had a lead-in that heightened the kids’ enthusiasm. They truly got excited about learning, and it was obvious that Laura was excited about teaching.”

Harry Hill, Science teacher, Lugo-McGinness Academy:  “Mr. Hill’s approach to instruction is differentiated, meets student needs, and leads to academic success.”

Leslie S. Hunter, 1st grade, Venable Elementary:  “Leslie’s classroom is always quietly buzzing with joyful and purposeful learning. Her openness and generosity with her own ideas is inviting and inspirational to other teachers.”

Sarah Lloyd, 6th grade, Walker Upper Elementary Math:  “Mrs. Lloyd does not allow students to make excuses, get distracted, procrastinate, or give up. She provides the necessary support for each student to be successful without lowering standards and expectations. Failure is not an option in Lloyd’s classroom.”