Each year, the Crystal Apple Awards program, sponsored by El Paso Council PTA and Colorado Springs School District 11, recognizes excellence in teaching with awards to outstanding teachers. This year, four District 11 teachers have been selected to receive Crystal Apple Awards.
The Crystal Apple Awards nomination process involves the teacher’s colleagues, as well as current and former students and their parents. Selection of the recipients is based on criteria that include how the teacher:
1) provides for individual differences of students, 2) builds an atmosphere conducive to learning, 3) motivates students to learn, 4) prepares students to be contributing members of society, 5) demonstrates professional leadership, and 6) contributes to a positive school/parent/community partnership.
This year’s honorees will be recognized during National PTA Teacher Appreciation Week at a formal banquet on May 8, at the Hotel Eleganté, 2886 South Circle Drive.
Each award recipient will receive $500 for classroom use, a crystal apple mounted on a plaque and a personalized Michael Garman statue.
The 2014 School District 11 Crystal Apple recipients are:
- Brad Bowles, second grade teacher at Trailblazer Elementary School – “He runs a classroom that encourages all students of different levels of abilities and personalities to succeed regardless of their background, starting point or challenges.”
- Karen N. Callahan, second grade teacher at Scott Elementary School – “She has a very special way of building people up. At the end of the day, she gives them all a hug. She is famous at Scott for those hugs! Her past students come by and visit regularly after school.”
- Brenda McCreight, master teacher at Wilson Elementary School – “She has a bag of tricks a mile deep in her extensive career. She started as a music teacher, became a classroom teacher, went on to teach science, and in her current position is our master teacher.”
- Christopher Smith, science teacher at Sabin Middle School – “Chris’ classroom is filled with wonder. He brings science to life through interesting hands-on labs, guest speakers, debates, newsroom interviews, field trips, and the perfect infusion of technology.”