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Champions For Learning Announces Collier Golden Apple Recipients

Golden Apple Surprises


On March 22, students in six Collier County classrooms received bushels of apples as their teachers were surprised with Golden Apple awards, highlighting best practices in teaching.


Champions For Learning staff, board members and selection committee volunteers were joined by major sponsors to present the Golden Apple awards to six teachers in their classrooms. Champions For Learning’s community-based selection committee met and visited the classrooms of 60 Teachers of Distinction representing 58 Collier County Public Schools to learn about their best practices. Champions For Learning’s community-based selection committee identified six practices to highlight as part of the Golden Apple process.


Congratulations to the following 2022-2023 Golden Apple recipients:

  • Marlon Alfaro, Manatee Middle
  • D’Nai Bullen,Corkscrew Elementary
  • Sylvie Certa,Gulfview Middle
  • Anne Coots, Osceola Elementary
  • Ashley Crosby, Golden Gate Middle
  • Michael Gonzalez, RCMA Immokalee Community Academy

“Collier County has many educators that make a difference in students’ lives daily. Champions For Learning is honored to be the organization that highlights these teachers for all that they do,” said Barbara Evans, President and CEO of Champions For Learning. “I could not be prouder of our selection committee who spent countless hours learning about the best practices from the 60 Teachers of Distinction. It is clear we have a community who believes Education is Everything.”


The 2022-2023 Golden Apple recipients will each receive a grant ($5,000) to allow the expansion of their best practice. All Teachers of Distinction receive a $250 award, and the Golden Apple recipients receive an additional cash award.


“At Suncoast Credit Union, we believe a community that invests in their educators builds a strong foundation for students, businesses and community at large. Our Foundation was formed in 1990, and since then, we have raised more than $40 million dollars to provide a better future for children. By creating learning opportunities through community grants, Suncoast helps create stronger teachers and students. We are proud to support opportunities for educators to share best practices and to grow professionally,” said Kourtney Berry, executive director of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.


“Being able to recognize dedicated teachers who stand above the rest is the heart of the Golden Apple Awards. Our goal by participating in The Golden Apple Awards is that the grants will inspire teachers to continue investing in our students and to develop innovative practices,” said Berry.


Champions For Learning will honor the Golden Apple Recipients, Teachers of Distinction, and Collier County Public Schools Teachers of the Year at the 33rd Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers Dinner on Friday, May 12, 2023, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.


Families, students, and the entire community are invited to join in the celebration by tuning in to NBC-2 for the Golden Apple television program highlighting quality education in Collier County classrooms.  The program will be aired on Saturday, May 13 on NBC-2 at 8:00pm.