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Albemarle, Charlottesville Communities Honor 44 Teachers for Classroom Excellence in 19th Annual Golden Apple Awards

DATE: May 18, 2020
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer
PHONE: 434-249-8379

Albemarle, Charlottesville Communities Honor 44 Teachers From Public, Private Schools for Their Classroom Excellence in 19th Annual Golden Apple Awards Celebration

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The 19th annual Golden Apple Awards celebration, which will be held virtually on May 21 at 4 p.m., will honor 44 teachers from public and private schools across Charlottesville City and Albemarle County for their service to students. Honorees were selected for the award based upon demonstrated excellence in the classroom, innovative instructional strategies and techniques, and their involvement in the local community. Students, parents, members of the community, and other educators submitted nominations. Teachers selected for the award represent less than two percent of all teachers in our area’s public and private schools.

Better Living Building Supply and Cabinetry has sponsored the Golden Apple Awards since their inception. The company’s chairperson, Mr. Richard Nunley, often has talked about the impact that an exceptionally talented and caring teacher can have on the life of a student.

Mr. Nunley described the Golden Apple program as among the most effective vehicles for his company to give back to the Charlottesville and Albemarle communities. “Particularly in this challenging time in our world, teachers nurture the inquisitive minds of our young people, keep them engaged in education and community, and prepare them for the challenges of the future,” he has said.

Albemarle County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Matthew Haas, agreed. “These awards represent one of the best things that our community has to offer, which is access to exceptional educators,” he said. “The teachers who are being recognized are providing stability for the students in our school division and community during a difficult time for these children. They continue to connect students to such valuable lifelong skills as creativity and problem solving, communication and community service, and teamwork,” he said.

Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools, said, “This coronavirus closure has made the whole country appreciate teachers even more than previously. We are especially thankful for teachers such as these who lead the way with excellence.”

Honorees were chosen by a selection committee including retired Albemarle County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kevin Castner, as chair; Bekah Saxon, who represented Blue Ridge Uniserve; Jakki Crocker from Charlottesville City Schools’ Parent Council; Rhonda Angel from the Parent Council for Albemarle County Public Schools; retired Albemarle County principals, Karen Marcus and Jo Vining; and Charlottesville City Schools retired teacher Veronica Jones. In addition to a brass Golden Apple, recipients also will receive a $500 grant from Better Living Building Supply and Cabinetry for classroom programs next year.

The ceremonies next Thursday will consist of welcome remarks by Dr. Kevin Castner, opening remarks by Dr. Atkins, an introduction of the 44 recipients, and closing remarks by Dr. Haas. There will also be video clips of past winners to highlight the creative ways that teachers use their grant money to advance the learning of their students. The link for the public to watch the awards ceremony is

This year’s Golden Apple honorees include:

David Riddick, Miller School
Sarah Jackson, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School
Kathryn Salem, Jackson-Via Elementary School
Lindsey Jeong, Baker-Butler Elementary School
Lisa Johnson Black, Charlottesville Hospital Ed
Taylor Holder, Western Albemarle High School
Avis Fields, Tandem Friends
Lisa Wallace, Burnley-Moran Elementary School
Matthew Deegan, Charlottesville High School
Paloma Visscher-Gingerich, St. Anne's Belfield
Dominique Morse, Community Public Charter School
Cindy Payne, Murray Elementary School
Brandy Walker, Buford Middle School
Bronwyn Murray, Woodbrook Elementary School
Rodricucuz Vaughn, Henley Middle School
Sarah LaPrade, Hollymead Elementary School
Heather Bryan, Charlottesville Catholic
Lynn Leathers, Stony Point Elementary School
Karen Belton Garland, Cale Elementary School
Beth Kavounas, Red Hill Elementary School
Tracy Brown, Crozet Elementary School
Bethany Weatherford Robinson, Brownsville Elementary School
Lindsay Wayland, Johnson Elementary School
Hashim O. Davis, Center for Learning & Growth
Matt Richardson, CATEC
Kavita Kumar, Greenbrier Elementary School
Jim Loffredo, Scottsville Elementary School
Jaclyn Parker, Agnor-Hurt Elementary School
Holly Garmon, Covenant
Rebecca Kindler, Walton Middle School
Calder McLellan, Venable Elementary School
Mary Caitlyn Cordone, Clark Elementary School
Debra Zehnter, Broadus Wood Elementary School
Jennifer Therese MacDonald, Albemarle High School
Shannon McLaughlin, Greer Elementary School
Kelsey Cary, Lugo-McGinnis Academy
John Worozbyt, Burley Middle School
Jack Warren, Blue Ridge School
Corinne Lindemann, Monticello High School
Cianna Washburg, Walker Upper Elementary School
Joshua Flaherty, Murray High School
Ayla Duve, Jack Jouett Middle School
Meredith Holmes, Sutherland Middle School
Luke Noble, Stone-Robinson Elementary School

Several of last year’s grant recipients have created a video that will be featured during the awards ceremony. These videos showcase the projects of teachers who received grants in 2019 and include Will Cooke of Charlottesville High School; Mackenzie Crawford from Walton Middle School; Lindsay Lowdon from Charlottesville Catholic School; Melissa Mitchem from Buford Middle School; and from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, Rachel Shamey.



Correction: The title of this news release has been updated to reflect that 44 teachers were honored with a Golden Apple Award in the 2020 ceremony.

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