Golden Apple

The Golden Apple Program

Champions For Learning’s Golden Apple program is an educator development program that combines the sharing of best practices within and among educators and schools, recognizing and celebrating the teaching profession, and providing continued leadership development for teachers.

The program begins with the identification, selection, and celebration of teaching best practices, which are engaging and innovative classroom strategies to support student success. Leadership development is designed to expand the capacity of teachers to perform leadership roles within their schools.

The goal of Golden Apple is to empower teachers to facilitate the sharing of best practices and build alignment and support within the educator community. As a result, the program cultivates teachers’ future growth in the profession and prepares them for success in the classroom.

The Golden Apple Program has three annual components:

1. The Golden Apple Selection Process

This process runs from November to March each year. Each Collier County Public School (including charter schools) is invited to nominate a Teacher of Distinction to participate. Each teacher will describe and demonstrate their best practice by completing a written submission form, presenting in-person to the Golden Apple Selection Committee, and inviting committee members to their classroom to see their best practice in action. At the conclusion of the process, the Golden Apple Selection Committee will utilize a scoring rubric to choose six Golden Apple recipients after thoughtful deliberation and consideration.
Golden Apple recipients receive:

  • $1,000 to spend in support of their classroom.
  • The opportunity to attend the Impact Florida Education Summit the following spring.
  • $1,000 honorarium per year for up to three (3) years to participate in planning and implementing components of the Golden Apple Leadership Program, and to serve as a Champions For Learning Ambassador in their school.

2. The Golden Apple Celebration

This awards ceremony is the culmination of the Golden Apple Selection Process. During the event, the Teachers of Distinction who participated in the process and the Golden Apple recipients will be recognized and honored for their best practices and contributions to the teaching profession.

3. The Golden Apple Leadership Academy

The Golden Apple Leadership Academy is designed to provide local educators with leadership training and experiences which will support their continued professional success in their classrooms and beyond.

There are two components to the Golden Apple Leadership Academy:

  • The Golden Apple Leadership Summit is a multi-day experience that takes place in late summer. The event is open to current and past Golden Apple recipients by invitation only. Teachers will participate in inspirational professional learning opportunities, network with colleagues and community partners, and plan the three upcoming Golden Apple Leadership Sessions.
  • The Golden Apple Leadership Sessions are three workshops that are planned and implemented by current and past Golden Apple recipients during the Summit. The sessions are open to all previous Teachers of Distinction or Golden Apple recipients. One will be offered on a CCPS Teacher Plan Day, one on a Saturday, and one after school/evening.

Additionally, all participants are encouraged to continue serving as Teacher Leaders in their respective schools and across the district outside of these specific opportunities.

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Through the Golden Apple Program, teachers are empowered to facilitate the sharing of best practices and build a network of educators to further support their growth in the profession.

Building Your Best Practice Workshop

This two-hour workshop provides the opportunity for any educator to learn about the Golden Apple process and best practices in education. Through sessions led by past Golden Apple recipients and Champions For Learning staff, educators will learn how to identify, explain, and share their best practices. Designed to prepare any interested teacher for participation in the Golden Apple process, the workshop is a valuable opportunity for all teachers to deepen their understanding and implementation of best practices in the classroom.

For more information, please reach out to Amy Snyder at or 239.643.4633.