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Golden Apple

Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program

The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program, developed in 1991, honors and rewards excellence in teaching. Each school selects their teacher of the year, who then participates in the selection process. Each year five outstanding teachers are named Golden Apple Teachers and become members of the Golden Apple Academy, a growing association of exceptional educators. Of the Golden Apples, one is named as Marion County’s Teacher of the Year at the Golden Apple Gala. The Public Education Foundation also selects the Rookie Teacher of the Year representing the newest educators in our school district.

2022 Golden Apple Teachers
  • Leah Bender,  Teacher of the Year, West Port High School
  • Joanne Houghton, Fort McCoy School
  • Jennifer Bourque, Harbour View Elementary School
  • Beth Abel, Lake Weir Middle School
  • Hannah Whitston, Madison Street Academy
  • Melinda Kimball, Rookie Teacher of the Year, Horizon Academy @ Marion Oaks

Golden Apple Academy

The Golden Apple Academy is composed of the top five teachers and top rookie teacher of Marion County every year. It is a growing association of exceptional educators. Once a member of the Academy, the goal is to support and lift up our educators that are making a positive impact on our children.

Golden Apple Gala

The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Gala is an annual event held to honor Marion County’s outstanding educators. Each school based Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year will be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in the classroom.

The Golden Apple Gala is set for February 4th, 2023 at the Reilly Arts Center in downtown Ocala, Florida. Tickets will go on sale in December.

Photos from the 2022 Golden Apple Gala

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