10th annual Golden Apple Award honors educators across Washington



​​SEATTLE – Seattle's 10th Annual Golden Apple Awards ceremony recognized the excellence of 10 individuals and educational programs from across Washington at Seattle's Intiman Playhouse on Friday evening, February 15. Governor Gary Locke and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Terry Bergeson joined in celebrating these remarkable careers and their contributions to Washington's communities.

"To all of our educators, congratulations and thank you," said Governor Locke. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for inspiring our children. They say, `The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, and the great teacher inspires.' The educators we honor with the Golden Apple Awards are the great teachers. They inspire our children to blossom into the best they can be."

Since its inception, the Golden Apple Awards program has recognized more than 100 individuals and programs for exceptional teaching and educational innovation in communities across the state. This year's winners were selected from among more than 150 nominations submitted by students, parents, educators, and community members statewide.

A panel comprised of representatives from the Washington Education Association, Washington State Parent Teacher Association, YMCA, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Alliance for Education, and previous Golden Apple Award winners evaluated the nominees and selected the individuals and programs to be honored.

The ceremony included the presentation of The Stanley O. McNaughton Golden Apple Award. Established in 1998, The Stanley O. McNaughton Award recognizes educators and programs whose commitment to excellence inspires students to attain success in academic and/or vocational areas. It seeks to distinguish teaching that enhances students' abilities to think and act logically and creatively, both independently and as part of a team. The award is named for the late Stanley O. McNaughton, CEO of PEMCO Insurance, whose commitment to excellence in education and active support of the Golden Apple Awards contributed greatly to its growth and success. This year's Stanley O. McNaughton Golden Apple Award winner is the Principles of Technology and Robotics program at Renton's Lindbergh High School.

"What is honored is cultivated," said Stan W. McNaughton, current CEO of PEMCO Insurance. "PEMCO is rooted in education. Our founder and first two CEOs were teachers. The Golden Apple Awards allow us to honor excellence in a profession that deserves considerable recognition. This is simply great stuff."

This year's Golden Apple Award winners are:

- Sandra Droz, music teacher, Juanita Elementary School, Kirkland

- Dr. Robert McLaughlin, superintendent, Union Gap School District No. 2

- Susan Grab, English teacher, Fife High School, Tacoma

- Mary Moore, third-grade teacher, Jason Lee Elementary School, Richland

- Greg Skinner, fourth- and fifth-grade teacher, Julia Butler Hansen Elementary School, Olympia

- "American Ideals" Oratory Competition, Alderwood Middle School, Lynnwood

- K-5 Inquiry-Based Science Program, Seattle Public Schools

- Quincy Lakes Environmental Awareness, Monument Elementary School, Quincy

- Wilderness Technology Alliance, Bellevue

- Stanley O. McNaughton Golden Apple Award: Principles of Technology and Robotics, Lindbergh High School, Renton

KCTS established the Golden Apple Awards in 1992 as part of its long-standing commitment to serving the educational needs of children. By celebrating the contributions individuals and programs make to the quality of education in Washington, the awards' goal is to provide models for others and inspire a new generation of teachers. Funding for the awards has been provided by PEMCO Insurance for nine of the past 10 years.

Each of the individual winners received a statuette and $250. Winning programs each receive $500. In addition, PEMCO Insurance awarded each Golden Apple Award recipient a $1,500 grant to support his or her classroom, school, or educational program.

The Golden Apple Awards ceremony will air on KCTS, KYVE in Yakima, and KWSU in Pullman on Thursday, February 28, at 8 p.m. Spokane's KSPS will air the program on Wednesday, March 27. The air date for KBTC in Tacoma is to be announced. The awards are sponsored by PEMCO Insurance and KCTS Television.