A Red Apple Salute For Teacher Jill Gontovnick
Meet fifth grade teacher Jill Gontovnick of Highcrest Middle School, Wilmette, Illinois. Ms. Gontovnick is the recipient of this year's Golden Apple Award. According to the Chicago Tribune:
For all of her dedication and hard work, we offer Jill Gontovnick our Red Apple Salute.
Jill Gontovnick shed tears twice Thursday, first of happiness at winning a Golden Apple Award as one of the Chicago area's best teachers, then of loss, as she reflected on her mother, her inspiration, who was not there to see it.
Struggling to hold back her emotions, Gontovnick, who teaches 5th grade at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, recalled her mother, Barbara, a longtime teacher who died in 2002.
"Who I am as a teacher comes from her," she said. "It's a testament to her and what she did."
Golden Apple Foundation officials Glenn "Max" McGee and Elaine Schuster presented the surprise award [in her classroom] as the class erupted in applause and squeals of delight, Gontovnick turning a shade of pink very close to the bright sweater she wore.
Parents have taken notice, sending in a half-dozen glowing letters last summer alone, said McGee, who is also superintendent of Wilmette School District 39, which includes Highcrest.
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