IC students among 2022 Golden Apple Scholars


Seven Illinois College education students were inducted into this year’s class of Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois during a ceremony held over the summer at the Symphony Center, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

  • Madeline Becker ’26, Carlyle, Illinois
  • Lania Brown ’26, Decatur, Illinois
  • Samantha Godlewski ’26, Bloomington, Illinois
  • Cassandra Mayer ’26, Woodhull, Illinois
  • Katherine Monier ’24, Walnut, Illinois 
  • Paige Nowak ’24, O’Fallon, Illinois 
  • Katelyn Phillips ’26, 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 Todd Oberg, professor of mathematics and faculty advisor for IC’s Golden Apple program, 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 groups of students and learning the newest pedagogies and methods in order to help all students succeed in the classroom,” Oberg said. 

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 included 360 talented future teachers. The program works to remove barriers to entering the teaching profession and address the critical teacher shortage in the state. The shortage has continued to worsen, with 88% of school districts reporting a shortage of teachers in 2021.

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

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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Emily Titsworth '19, Writer
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