IC education students selected for Golden Apple Scholarship Program


Six Illinois College education students were inducted into this year’s class of Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois during a ceremony held in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

IC Golden Apple Scholars for 2019 (listed with hometowns) include:

  • Sydney Himmelman ’21, Geneseo, Illinois 
  • Lauren Hemmerle ’22, Auburn, Illinois
  • Ryan Holden ’23, Manteno, Illinois
  • Mallory Martin ’22, Jacksonville, Illinois   
  • Mackenzy Payne ’23, Riverton, Illinois
  • Madison Ruiz ’22, Rushville, Illinois

The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois provides teacher preparation and tuition assistance for high school seniors, and first- and second-year college students. The nonprofit’s mission is to “inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need.”

According to Dr. Todd Oberg, director of the teacher preparation program at IC, students selected for the program have displayed the determination and drive needed to be excellent teachers.

“The Golden Apple Scholars Program is a way for high-achieving students pursuing teaching to gain high-quality experiences working with diverse group of students and learning the newest techniques for impacting student learning,” said Oberg. 

Golden Apple scholars receive tuition support of up to $23,000, extensive classroom/work experience, academic support, job placement assistance and mentoring from award-winning teachers. To complete the program, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, earn a bachelor's degree from a partner college and commit to teaching for five years in an Illinois school-of-need within seven years of graduation. 

In a press release, Golden Apple said that this year’s cohort of 263 students is the group’s largest to date. The organization works to overcome the critical shortage of high-quality educators statewide. Illinois had more than 1,000 unfilled teaching positions in 2018, and colleges of education in Illinois universities have experienced a 50% decline in enrollment in the past 10 years. 

To learn more about the education program at Illinois College, visit

Pictured from left to right is Dr. Oberg, Madison Ruiz, Mackenzy Payne, Ryan Holden, Sydney Himmelman, Lauren Hemmerle, and Mallory Martin. 


About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932, the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit for more information.

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