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Champions For Learning Announces 2019-2020 Golden Apple Recipients

Golden Apple


(February 11, 2020—Naples, FL) Today, students in six Collier County classrooms received bushels of golden apples as their teachers were surprised with Golden Apple awards. Representatives from Suncoast Credit Union, Presenting Sponsor of the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program, were joined by Champions For Learning board members, sponsors, and volunteers to present the awards to the teachers in their classrooms.


Fifty-two Teachers of Distinction representing Collier County Public Schools shared their best practices. Champions For Learning’s community-based selection committee identified six (6) practices to highlight as part of the Golden Apple process.


Congratulations to the following 2019-2020 Golden Apple recipients: 

  • Sarah Bratcher, Lake Park Elementary
  • Eileen Fuentes, Sabal Palm Elementary
  • Elizabeth Garcia, Manatee Middle
  • Theresa Golden, Veterans Memorial Elementary
  • Serena M. Hampton-Dunn, Gulf Coast High
  • David Stehlin, Immokalee High


"At Suncoast Credit Union, we believe that the stronger we make our teachers, the stronger our students will be. For this reason, we create opportunities for educators to share best practices and to grow professionally," said Cindy Helton executive director of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.


The 2019-2020 Golden Apple recipients will each receive a grant (up to $5,000) from Suncoast Credit Union toward further developing their best practice. The Golden Apple recipients also receive an additional cash award thanks to the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation.


The community will honor and thank the Golden Apple recipients, Teachers of Distinction, and Collier County Public Schools’ Teachers of the Year at the Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers Dinner on April 3, 2020. This is the 30th annual celebration of Golden Apple as a longstanding tradition of the value our community places on the teaching profession.


The 2020 Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers is presented by Suncoast Credit Union and is generously hosted by the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Additional support is provided by our Major Sponsors: Conditioned Air, eBella Magazine, the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation, Moorings Park, Naples Daily News, NBC-2, and Stock Development.


Opportunities to sponsor a school to attend the event are available. For more information on event sponsorships and ticket sales, go to


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 the great work of teachers in Collier County classrooms. The program will be aired on Sunday, April 5, on NBC-2 at 7:00pm.


Stay tuned to all Golden Apple news by following #GoldenAppleCollier and #Champs4Collier on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!