IC students among Golden Apple Scholars inducted in virtual ceremony
Five Illinois College education students have been selected for the 2020 class of Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois.
• Adam Reed ’22, Gillespie, Illinois
• Ellie Abell ’22, Jacksonville, Illinois
• Abigail Weisner ’22, Greenfield, Illinois
• Kyler Kantor ’23, Macon, Illinois
• Zach Underwood ’24, Marion, 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.”
The students selected for the program will gain high-quality experiences working with a diverse group of students, according to Todd Oberg, professor of mathematics and faculty advisor for IC’s Golden Apple program.
“These students have demonstrated the drive and achievement they will need as they excel as educators,” he said. “The experiences they will have thanks to the Golden Apple Scholars program will serve them well as they become teachers and go out to make a positive impact on their communities.”
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 virtual induction ceremony this summer, Ziggy Blackwell ’05, Golden Apple Scholars director of recruitment, said this year’s class of 300 scholars is a record for the program.
"Before I started the recruitment year and before I started visiting high schools and traveling to universities, the state of Illinois released a report of 1,800 teaching vacancies in the state of Illinois, many of these positions in schools of need,” Blackwell said during the virtual ceremony. “As a teacher preparation program, this call to action speaks directly to Golden Apple. We have made it our mission to address this shortage through the scholars program."
To learn more about the education program at Illinois College, visit www.ic.edu/education.