Nominate an Outstanding Teacher for a Golden Apple Award

The Golden Apple Awards honor outstanding educators in Charlottesville and Albemarle who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and involvement in the community outside the school.


Click here for the nomination form

Candidates for this award are teachers at any level (preschool through grade 12) and in any discipline who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and involvement in the community outside the school.

A nominee exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Creates a love of learning in students of all abilities and backgrounds.
  • Stimulates thought and provokes student dialogue.
  • Challenges students to reach high standards and expectations.
  • Understands the needs of students individually and collectively and meets those needs with determination, enthusiasm and imagination.
  • Involves families in the education process.

Winners receive a $500 grant for classroom materials or professional development. Sponsored by Better Living Building Supplies and Cabinetry.

Previous Golden Apple Award Recipients from Cville Schools


2022 Winners


  • Andrew Josselyn, English Teacher
  • His nominator writes: “Andy is an imaginative classroom instructor who is constantly looking for ways to make school relevant to teenagers’ lives. Andy’s creativity and commitment to improving our school community make him a huge asset to CHS.”


  • Matthew Resnick, History Teacher
  • His nominator writes: “Mr. Resnick has made his civics and economics classroom a safe, supportive space for all of his students. His classroom is filled with student-created artifacts that promote a culturally responsive, inclusive space for all students.”


  • Bridget Drain, Special Education Teacher
  • Her nominator writes: “Most notable is Ms. Drain’s commitment to helping students with marginalized identities find representation in the classroom setting. She not only builds relationships that are grounded in trust and respect, but sustains these connections long after her students leave her care.”


  • Huma Ahmad, Speech Language Pathologist
  • Her nominator writes: “She takes all of her time to help children who have special needs with reading or writing down to math reach their potential. She takes out the time to hear the parents and come to conclusions on what is best for the child.”


  • Caitlin Natale, Second Grade Teacher
  • Her nominator writes: “Every time I am in her classroom, there is a palpable love of learning. No matter what she is doing, the students yearn to engage with her.”


  • Brenning Greenfield, Kindergarten Teacher
  • His nominator writes: “Mr. Greenfield makes learning engaging (with his infusion of music), meaningful (such as with his classmate writings to celebrate their ‘Reading Stars of the Week,’) and rigorous as he encourages his students to think outside the box and embrace challenge.”


  • Melanie-Ann Johnson, Gifted Education Teacher
  • Her nominator writes: “Melanie Johnson has been an inspiration this year and in past years in her work with students, her outreach to the families of Jackson-Via and the larger community of Charlottesville.”


  • Lindsay Kamide, Reading Specialist
  • Her nominator writes: “Our daughter loves the time she spends with Ms. Kamide and we love how she meets her where she is and is always on point with book recommendations that she will actually enjoy reading.”


  • Jenny Isaacs-Lowe, Special Education Teacher
  • Her nominator writes: “Jenny Lowe is an exceptional educator and a vital asset to the Venable community. She is an advocate for all students and families, and she believes deeply in each student’s ability to learn and reach high standards in school.”


2021 Winners: Kelsey Cox of Burnley-Moran; Amit Kapur of Clark; Desiree Conner of Greenbrier; Michel Ann Sizemore of Jackson-Via; Michelle Schettler of Johnson; Allison Shields of Venable; Maggie Pfuntner of Walker; Shinay Henderson of Buford; Matt Terillo of Charlottesville High School; Denise Meyer of Hospital Ed


collage of photos of the 2020 Golden Apple Award winners
20202 Charlottesville Schools Golden Apple Award recipients

11 teachers from Charlottesville City Schools are among the outstanding recipients of the 2020 Golden Apple Awards presented by Better Living Building Supply & Cabinetry.

These awards are presented annually to nominated faculty members from the public and private schools in Albemarle County and Charlottesville City.

Award recipients receive a Golden Apple, as well as gift certificates from local businesses. As a “Golden Apple” teacher, each recipient is also eligible to receive a $1,000 Golden Apple Grant to be used for classroom materials or to support the recipient’s continued professional development.

Congratulations to the following 2020 winners: Lisa Johnson Black (Hospital Ed), Kelsey Cary (Lugo-McGinness), Mary Caitlyn Cordone (Clark), Matthew Deegan (CHS), Kavita Kumar (Greenbrier), Calder McLellan (Venable), Kathryn Salem (Jackson-Via), Brandy Walker (Buford), Lisa Wallace (Burnley-Moran), Cianna Washburg (Walker), and Lindsay Wayland (Johnson). Congrats to these amazing teachers!  You can watch the virtual ceremony here.

2019 Charlottesville City Schools Golden Apple Award Recipients

Click on each each portrait to hear what they had to say!

  • Golden Apple Previous Winners collage2019 Winners: Kathy Claus- Greenbrier Elementary, Melissa Combs- Venable Elementary, Will Cooke- Charlottesville High School, Maelys Croce- Johnson Elementary, Robin Ellis- Clark Elementary, Meaghan Fenton- Jackson-Via Elementary, Chris Lorigan- Burnley-Moran Elementary, Michael McCrory- Lugo-McGinness Academy, Melissa Mitchem- Buford Middle, and Kevin Paquette- Walker Upper Elementary.
  • 2018 Winners: Latoya Brown (Buford Middle), Mary Johnston (Burnley-Moran Elementary), Nicole Armstrong (Charlottesville High), 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).
  • 2017 Winners: Melvin Grady (Buford), Jessica Powley (Burnley-Moran), Brian Kayser (CHS), Ashley Riley (Clark), Amy Jones (Greenbrier), Lisa Utz (Jackson-Via), Lorena Caballero Bower (Johnson), Michael McCrory (Lugo-McGinness Academy), Nicole Driggs (Venable), and Samantha Pagni (Walker).
  • 2016 Winners: Cindy Cartwright (Venable), Mary Craig (Clark), Shannon Gillikin (Jackson-Via), Ron Green (Greenbrier), Jenn Horne (CHS), Patricia Luke (Buford), Alex Piedra (Walker), Leslie Scalley (Johnson), Tracy Weaver (Burnley-Moran)
  • 2015 Winners: Minda Barnett (Walker); Kena Lea Brandt (Greenbrier); Diane M. Foraste (Venable); Susan Jamme (CHS); Chris Lorigan (Burnley-Moran); Hillary Pleasants (Jackson-Via); Katie Rogers (Clark); Nancy Bailey Rickabaugh (Johnson); Lauralee Watlock (Buford)
  • 2014 Winners: Sara Epperly (CHS); Julia Evatt, (Walker); Dina Fricke (Clark); Andy Jones (Buford); Karen S. Minor (Venable); Stephanie Randolph (Johnson); Lauren Elizabeth Sandridge (Greenbrier); Andra M. Skeen (Burnley-Moran); Kristin Ullrich (Jackson-Via)
  • 2013 Winners: Jessica Bennett (Greenbrier); Nikki Y. Franklin (Jackson-Via); Renata Germino (Buford); April Hoffman (Johnson); Scott Mace (CHS); Virginia Monroe (Walker); Zoë Padrón (Clark); Michael Salvatierra (Venable); Rachel Savoy (Burnley Moran)
  • 2012 Winners: Virginia Hill (Walker); Adam R. Hoppe (Greenbrier); Allison Kennedy (Jackson-Via); Maggie Lovett (Johnson); Traci Martin (Venable); Katherine Witthauer Murah (Clark); Susan S. Muse (Buford);  Lauren Penniman (Burnley-Moran); Lester L. Wainwright (CHS);
  • 2011 Winners: Amanda “Amy” Thompson (Buford ); Kathy Umbdenstock (Burnley-Moran); Susan M. Garfinkel (CHS); Dawn Y. Reddick (Clark); Amanda Sherriff (Jackson-Via); Michelle M. Smith (Johnson); Brenda Payne (Venable); Lynne Herman (Walker); Ann Parks (Greenbrier)