James Schamber from Orrington Elementary School Named a Golden Apple Award Finalist

James Schamber from Orrington Elementary School Named a Golden Apple Award Finalist

30th Anniversary of the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching


CHICAGO (March 16, 2015) -- Golden Apple, a leading nonprofit committed to celebrating and developing great teachers with the ability and passion to make life-changing differences in the lives of students, proudly announced today that James Schamber Second Grader Teacher from Orrington Elementary is one of 30 finalists for the 2015 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The awards recognize and honor outstanding teachers for their role in building a stronger, better-educated society. This year’s finalists were selected from a pool of more than 600 nominations, and represent Pre-K-3rd grade teachers throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. For a full lists of finalists, visit www.goldenapple.org/2015-award-finalists.


Schamber, a Libertyville resident, was nominated for his passion and dedication to teaching. Specifically, he demonstrates an ability to create a strong and supportive learning community.  James’ ability to motivate the most reluctant learner is a rare skill that all teachers strive to master.

“You sense a special energy when entering James Schamber’s classroom.  You can easily observe students working in disciplined teams in various stations in the classroom.  Every child’s face says I am discovering something new and awesome,” said Renaud J. Beaudoin, principal at Orringon Elementary School of Evanston/ Skokie District 65.


A Celebration of Excellence in honor of the 30 finalists will be held on Saturday, April 11 at the Chicago O’Hare Marriott. Event details and tickets are available at http://www.goldenapple.org/2015-Celebration. All are welcome to join the Celebration.


The 30 finalists will experience a final round of review and classroom observations prior to the selection and announcement this spring of the 10 award recipients. Golden Apple’s award selection committee is comprised of college and university professors, administrators and former Golden Apple Award recipients. Committee members utilize industry and research based professional standards to identify teachers who exemplify the best of the teaching profession. As part of the final selection process, the finalists will be observed in their classrooms and the selection committee will conduct interviews with the teachers’ colleagues, supervisors, students and parents.  


“All of the selection committee members are so impressed by the dedication, passion and drive for excellence in teaching that these finalists have demonstrated. They exemplify the powerful role that an outstanding teacher can play in transforming students’ lives – and at Golden Apple, we believe exceptional teachers deserve the highest honor,” said Dominic Belmonte, president and CEO of Golden Apple.


For 30 years, Golden Apple has recognized outstanding teachers throughout Illinois each year. Created by founders Mike and Pat Koldyke, Golden Apple’s mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois. Golden Apple award recipients play a critical role in furthering the programs of Golden Apple, particularly as members of the faculty who help prepare Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program participants to be future teachers within schools of need.


Each Golden Apple Award recipient receives a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University. Each recipient also receives a $5,000 cash award. Perhaps most importantly, award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, giving them a stronger voice and a larger stage from which to make a difference in education within Illinois and nationally.

Nominations for the 2016 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching will open in late May.  The 2016 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching will honor teachers in grades 9-12. Teachers who are eligible for nomination must be full-time classroom teachers at public or non-public schools within Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will counties. The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching concentrate on specific grade levels each year.  


Golden Apple also announced today the five finalists for the Stanley C. Golder Award, which honors exceptional Principals and Heads of Schools. Learn more at goldenapple.org/award-finalists.

About Golden Apple
2015 marks Golden Apple’s 30th year of innovating teacher preparation to transform both the careers of teachers, as well as the lives of students in Illinois. Our focus is on advancing educational excellence for Illinois’ most under-served students. We begin by recognizing high school and collegiate talent with a passion for teaching and a drive to create positive change for students and their communities. We enhance their college education with exemplary advanced teacher preparation, game-changing resources and lifelong support, through our Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program.  

Golden Apple is composed of recognized superior educators, including Golden Apple Award recipients and finalists, leading a passionate team of devoted staff with technical and program expertise, as well as a connected and committed board of directors charged with overseeing our strategic vision. Visit http://www.goldenapple.org for more information. 

Media contact:

Eileen Rochford

Ph: 312-953-3305