Golden Apple, Our Work for Educators

Announcing 2016-2017 Golden Apple Recipients!

On February 14, 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.

Congratulations to the following 2016-17 Golden Apple recipients.  See attached list for the names of Teachers of Distinction.

  • Joanna Campanile & 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


Click here to see the list of the Golden Apple Recipients and Teachers of Distinction.

“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

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.