Champions For Learning Announce Golden Apple Recipients

Today, students in six Collier County classrooms received bushels of Golden Delicious apples as their teachers were surprised with Golden Apple awards, which highlight best practices in teaching. 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.

Local teacher Ashley Lynn Heirls for Highlands Elementary made this years list.

Congratulations to the following 2016-17 Golden Apple recipients. See attached list for the names of Teachers of Distinction.
• Joanna Campanile and Janell Matos, Poinciana Elementary
• Anne Fredette, Lorenzo Walker Technical College
• Ashley Lynn Heirls, Highlands Elementary
• Maria T. LaRocco, Sabal Palm Elementary
• Amanda McCoy, Manatee Middle
• Stacy M. Smith, Palmetto Ridge 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 Golden Apple Awards enable us to recognized teachers whose dedication and practices stand above the rest. We hope that the grants will inspire them to continue investing in our students and to develop innovative practices.”

The 2016-17 Golden Apple recipients will each receive a grant (up to $5,000) from Suncoast Credit Union to allow the building of best practices. All Teachers of Distinction receive a $500 award, and the Golden Apple recipients receive an additional $500 award thanks to the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation.

The Suncoast Credit Union Foundation is funded through the credit union members’ use of their debit and credit cards. The Suncoast for Schools Rewards Debit Card and VISA Credit Card program automatically generates funds that are dedicated to education and health-related initiatives benefiting children in the local community.

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 March 31, 2017. We will also be honoring Myra Janco Daniels as the 2016-2017 Heart of the Apple recipient for her contribution to our community.

The event is presented by Suncoast Credit Union and is generously hosted by the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Additional support is provided by Adams Food, Inc./McDonald’s, Arthrex, CenturyLink, Conditioned Air, Gulfshore Life, the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation, Moorings Park, Naples Daily News, and NBC-2.

The event hashtag will be #goldenapplecollier and #Champions4Collier.

For information on attending and/or event sponsorships, visit www.ChampionsForLearning.org/GA.

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 March 31 on NBC-2 at 8:00pm, and rebroadcast multiple times after April 2 on The Education Channel.

About Champions For Learning™
Champions For Learning™, the education foundation in Collier County is an independent, community-based, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that makes it possible for our community to impact lives by enriching the environment for student learning through educators and directly with students. The organization has been awarded a four star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator. The Education Foundation of Collier County (Champions For Learning) has been ranked among one of the top 25 education foundations in a national study. Become a Champion for Learning and visit www.ChampionsForLearning.org.

About Suncoast Credit Union
Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the ninth largest in the United States based on membership and the 12th largest in the United States based on its more than $8 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 62 full-service branches and serves approximately 700,000 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $19 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit: suncoastcreditunion.com, facebook.com/SuncoastCreditUnion or @SuncoastCU.

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