Neuqua Valley High School teacher chosen finalist for Apple Award

NAPERVILLE, IL — The English teachers at A Neuqua Valley High School are among 30 finalists for the coveted Golden Apple Awards for Teaching Excellence and could be surprised this spring as the recipients of the award, l nonprofit organization based in Illinois.

Laura Dabezic is among the finalists after the creative educator who is used to turning ‘ragtag teams’ of students into ‘a fierce group of writing superstars’ was recognized as a finalist for the honor, says the Golden Apple Award organization in a press release. the announcement of the finalists.

After six months of learning under his guidance, Dabezic students in Neuqua Valley are able to “stifle any argumentative or rhetorical question that arises on their AP test,” the organization said in a press release.

“With his legal notebook at the ready, Dabezic begins each school year by assigning prompts from the previous year’s National AP English Test and taking notes on what students already know about writing a well-crafted argumentative essay,” the statement read. “Instead of grading these essays (Dabezic doesn’t believe in grading skills that haven’t yet been taught), the papers are collected as ‘evidence’ to assess where his new class is at and what gaps need to be filled. The result pays off twice when, just before the end of the course, students are again presented with their original essays.

Dabezic says nothing builds his students’ confidence like seeing how far they’ve come, the nonprofit said.

The Golden Apple finalists were chosen after a highly competitive process that culminated in the nomination of 30 finalists who are all grades 9-12 teachers.

“The past two years have really taken a toll on teachers, staff, families and students,” Golden Apple President Alan Mather said in the press release. “While great teachers have always had an impact, this is especially true over the past year, where these finalists have demonstrated their commitment to providing ongoing support and high quality teaching to their students and we are proud to support them. to honour.”

The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching honor outstanding teachers for their positive and lasting effects on student lives and school communities, the statement said. Finalist teachers demonstrate, through their teaching and results, a significant and positive impact on the growth and learning of their students.

The 2022 Golden Apple Award winners will be surprised in the spring, and Northwestern University is offering a spring sabbatical to winners at no cost. Each recipient receives a cash award of $5,000, according to the statement.

Recipients become members of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who play an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs dedicated to addressing the shortage of education. teachers in Illinois, the organization said. .

“Teachers – like these finalists – are in high demand in our state and country,” Golden Apple CEO Alicia Winckler said in the statement. “The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize and elevate this essential profession. With a growing teacher shortage, we need more effective teachers to positively impact the lives of students in all of our communities.”

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