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Ten Cape teachers named as Golden Apple finalists

By Staff | Jan 27, 2023

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools today announced the 36th annual Golden Apple Recognition Program Award finalists. The Foundation’s Golden Apple Selection Committee, made up of community and business leaders, were charged with the arduous task of reviewing and ranking applications to select 30 finalists.

“The teaching profession is the most important profession I can think of,” said Marshall T. Bower Esq., president and CEO of The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. “Teachers prepare our community’s greatest asset, our children, to become productive and positive members of our community. The Foundation’s Board of Directors understands that the cornerstone of a thriving economy is a good education. Teachers make that possible.”

Bower added that the “finalists are representative of all our outstanding teachers in the School District of Lee County.”

2023 Golden Apple Award finalists:

Cape teachers

Laura Jordan, Caloosa Elementary

John Crayton, Caloosa Middle

Ashley Koehler, Cape Coral High

Danielle Fitzsimmons, Cape Elementary

Quinn Schnabel, Diplomat Middle

Monica Baker, Gulf Elementary

Sarah Jones, Ida S. Baker High

Leanne Olmstead, Ida S. Baker High

Susan Wischhusen, Ida S. Baker High

Valerie Wieman Starling, Mariner High

The 20 remaining finalists:

Lindsey Maxwell, Bayshore Elementary

Lindsey Dwyer, Colonial Elementary

Dr. Katherine Callard, Carrie D Robinson Littleton

Louis Lillard, East Lee County High

Shirley Speruta, ESOL

Tamara Hunter, Franklin Park Elementary

Luis Fisher, Gateway High

Danielle Hopkins, Hancock Creek Elementary

Samantha Hower, Harns Marsh Middle

Allison Kerner, Harns Marsh Middle

Michelle Smith, Lehigh Senior High

Benjamin Andersen, Lexington Middle

Kathy Rivadeneira, North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts

Brittany Gardiner, Oak Hammock Middle

Katheryn Stempel, Ray V. Pottorf Elementary

Dr. Phyllis Verrone Lampman, Rayma C. Page Elementary

Miranda Lavender, Sunshine Elementary

Stephanie Yanik, The Sanibel School

Joni Pelletier, Treeline Elementary

Karen Whiteman, Varsity Lakes Middle

Finalists are personally interviewed and observed in their classrooms by the Golden Apple selection committee, and six teachers are selected as the Golden Apple Award recipients. The Recipients are honored at the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Banquet, a black-tie affair being held at Caloosa Sound Convention Center & Amphitheater on Friday, April 14.

The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program was the first major project founded and developed by The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. Since its inception 36 years ago, as a way to enhance public education by recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching, the Foundation has awarded 195 educators with the prestigious Golden Apple Teacher Award.

About The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. is a private, 501(c)3 organization established in 1986. Its mission is to enhance and enrich the quality of public education in Lee County for students and educators through programs, resources, and experiences made possible through corporate, individual, and educational partnerships. The Foundation is rated as a 4-star Platinum nonprofit organization by GuideStar. Find them online at leeschoolfoundation.org, on Twitter @FoundationLCPS, and Facebook.