Scott Galson (MS06) a Finalist for Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence

Scott Galson (MS06) a Finalist for Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence

Scott Galson

Scott Galson (MS06), a graduate of both the Master of Science in Education program and the NU-TEACH alternative certification program, is one of 32 finalists for the 2013 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching. He teaches algebra and statistics at Walter Payton College Prep High School. 

The Golden Apple finalists, selected from a pool of 510 nominations and 215 applicants represent high school teachers throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Since 1986, Golden Apple has recognized outstanding teachers throughout Illinois each year.

Previously Galson won the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement in 2009, recognizing him as the top AP teacher in Illinois. Siemens Awards are given each year to teachers and schools based on excellent student performance and participation in AP courses. In 2010 he was part of the Payton team that won the Intel Star Innovator Award, given to the school that best exemplifies innovative math or science programs.

In addition to teaching, Galson coaches the Payton math team, which has won several state championships. He also developed a financial investment seminar for students. "My mathematical learning experiences with my students go beyond the walls of my classroom," he notes.

Galson was previously honored as a Golden Apple Foundation Fellow and a Northwestern Scott Fellow, and he earned his national board certification in 2008. To become a teacher, Galson left a career in economic forecasting. The NU-TEACH alternative certification program prepared him for teaching mathematics in Chicago, and he furthered his education through the master's program at the School of Education and Social Policy.

Galson's philosophy of teaching centers on developing a student-centered classroom that focuses on what is most important to learn, the ways students learn best and staying a learner himself. "I believe that the most important things for my students to learn are how to be critical and independent thinkers, maintain a curiosity of the world and have the mathematical skills to derive any facts or formulas that they may forget," he said at the time he won the Siemens Award. "I encourage students to be critical and independent thinkers by maintaining an environment in which students feel comfortable explaining conclusions they reach regardless of their confidence and criticizing conclusions they feel are inconsistent."

Created by founders Mike and Pat Koldyke, The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize and honor outstanding teachers for their role in building a stronger, better-educated society. The 32 finalists will participate in a final round of review and observations prior to the announcement of the ten recipients in May.

President and CEO of Golden Apple, Dominic Belmonte praised this year’s finalists, “The tenacity and passion that these teachers possess for their classrooms, schools and communities are inspiring. They represent the epitome of excellence in education. We are proud to have them represent Golden Apple’s mission to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois.”

Each Golden Apple Award recipient receives a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University. Each recipient also receives a $3,000 cash award. Finally, award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 3/19/13