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Golden Apples recognize teaching excellence

Brooke Hafs, News Writer
February 27, 2013
Filed under News

The 20th annual Golden Apple Award ceremony will honor its teachers of distinction at their upcoming ceremony.  The event will take place April 17 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.

Teachers like Kari Kropp, a third-grade teacher at Glenbrook Elementary School, say they will accept their award with gratitude and emotion.

“I am very fortunate, lucky and blessed to have been chosen,” Kropp said.

The application process for this award is lengthy and time-consuming for teachers like Kropp.

Michael Witte, the vice president of business and education services at the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, said the entire process begins in October.

The Chamber of Commerce goes to all private, parochial, and public schools in the area to give out nomination forms.

“I was lucky enough to have some students who nominated me,” said Kropp, “They were very self motivated to do it.”

Witte said all the forms they receive from students, teachers and community members becomes their list of nominees. Each of these nominees then has to choose to move forward with the application process. From there, they take numerous steps to choose their 15 finalists.

“The neatest thing was when I had to call the 15 finalists,” Witte said. “Two of them cried, and one of them even screamed out in Shopko.”

“It was heartwarming for me to have students who feel they can show that type of appreciation,” Kropp said.

Witte said these finalists should feel honored. She said their peers and the business community are recognizing them as the great educators in the area.

According to Witte, an award like this elevates a school and people in the community take notice what schools are developing their teachers and the curriculum.

Professor Timothy Kaufman, is chairman of the professional program in education at the UW-Green Bay.

“It is a nice notoriety and great recognition for great teachers to win this award,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman said it’s a long-standing program in Green Bay that the area recognizes as a great honor. He said many former UWGB students have come out of the system and gone to receive an award.

“We have been honored in the past to have prepared many of these Golden Apple winning teachers,” said Kaufman.

“I think it’s important that students enjoy what they are learning and know the purpose of it,” Kropp said.

She said she uses small groups as one of her teaching methods.  Kropp also uses technology in the classroom to get students excited about subjects like math and reading.

Regardless of if a teacher educates elementary students the basics or calculus to high students, Witte says every year there are several winners from all age groups.

“There is always a few from the elementary schools, some from the middle schools, and some from the high schools.” He said he sees the most excitement from elementary students.

“My students are very excited to watch the event on TV,” said Kropp.

The business community has been a driving force behind this event for 20 years.

“It is a significant goal to hit; 20 years,” Witte said. “The business community has been recognizing outstanding teachers in their area for twenty years.”

The schools themselves also offer tons of support for this program, but Kropp said that’s not what drives them to succeed.

“It is something that is very exciting for our school to have such excited educators,” Kropp said. “It’s also really something, that at Glenbrook. It doesn’t take a teacher distinction award to notice that all teachers are excited about learning.”

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