There’s nothing better than a good surprise party!

That’s what a few local teachers were treated to when they were celebrated in surprise assemblies at their respective schools for being named a Golden Apple recipient.

The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching honor outstanding teachers for having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and school communities. Teacher recipients demonstrate – in their teaching and results – significant, positive impact on their students’ growth and learning.

This year, eight teachers from around Illinois were honored, two of which practice their craft here in the western suburbs.
Congrats to Wheaton-Warrenville South teacher Philip Culcasi and Nazareth Academy teacher Amelia Garcia!

Following a highly competitive process, Mr. Culcasi and Ms. Garcia were selected from more than 400 nominations of 9th-12th grade teachers.

Each award recipient receives a $5,000 cash award and a spring sabbatical provided by Northwestern University at no cost. Award recipients also become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who play an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in the Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs – which are dedicated to addressing the teacher shortage in Illinois.

The nomination period for the 2023 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership is open. All are invited to nominate exceptional 4th-8th grade teachers and Pre-K-12th grade school leaders in Illinois at