BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
For 32 years the Golden Apple Foundation has given apples to their favorite teachers: Chicago’s most innovative and passionate classroom advocates. The Golden Apple Impact Award was recently presented to an equally entrepreneurial educator, Chicago’s Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education under President Obama.
Duncan, now managing partner of Emerson Collective, leads an employment and skills-training program for young black men that already is making astonishing strides in creating better outcomes for its participants—and reducing violence.
Golden Apple founder, Mike Koldyke, remarked at the Ritz-Carleton celebration:
“Arne Duncan has been a true trailblazer in education. Not only has he accepted significant challenges to improve education, but also through his tremendous leadership experience he has demonstrated dedication and a true passion for increasing educational opportunities for all students.”
Golden Apple’s annual fundraising celebration of education supports the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program, which prepares future teachers to thrive in the most challenging high-needs school environment where more resilient teachers are desperately needed.
As part of the Golden Apple Scholars program, the nonprofit works to prepare and guide aspiring homegrown, minority, and highly-qualified candidates to become effective teachers in schools-of-need across Illinois for a minimum of five years. Over 600 Scholars are currently preparing to become teachers and will be able to receive lifelong support in the profession.
Golden Apple President and CEO, Alicia Winckler, said:
“Arne has advanced education in countless ways, including through teacher recruitment and training—a platform that is so important to Golden Apple’s work every day. We are proud of all he has achieved and applaud him for his tireless efforts on behalf of educators, students and the community.”