Chicago Center Teachers Win Golden Apple Awards
Congratulations to Chicago Center co-operating teachers Monique Blakes, a first grade teacher at Oscar DePriest Elementary School; and Elizabeth Luna, a kindergarten teacher at Murray Language Academy. These teachers have been named Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award recipients for the 2011-2012 school year. The three CPS educators are among 10 recipients of the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching and were selected from a pool of 560 nominees from throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.
The recipients of the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching receive a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University and a $3,000 cash award. Golden Apple teachers also become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, which develops and supports programs for teachers to make them more effective in the classroom.
Monique Blakes started crying as Mayor Rahm Emanuel stepped into her first grade classroom Thursday morning.
He was followed by some of her colleagues and family, including her sister, aunt and three nieces who drove up from St. Petersburg, Fla.
“I’m so honored,” she said. “I work really hard and my students, all of this is for them.”
Blakes has taught at Depriest Elementary in the Austin neighborhood for seven years. Before that, she went through the Academy of Urban School Leadership’s one-year teacher training program.
“You have the best teacher,” Emanuel told Blakes’ students. “She’s been recognized as number one.”
And her students agreed.
“She’s nice, funny and sweet, and she always takes care of us,” one girl said. “And she helps us learn stuff.”