Alumni Honored With Golden Apple Award

Alumni Honored With Golden Apple Award

winter-rosenbergSchool of Education and Social Policy alumni Sara Blair Winter-Rosenberg (MS12) and Corey Winchester (BS10) received 2019 Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching and Leadership awards during surprise announcements in their classrooms.

Winter-Rosenberg, an instructor in the Heritage Spanish program at Mundelein High School, was “shocked and quickly dissolved into tears,” the Daily Herald reported. Winchester, who teaches history and social science at Evanston Township High School, covered his face and put his hand over his heart.

A third Golden Apple winner, Erin Unander, a math teacher and department chair at Lakeview High School in Chicago, recently served as a mentor for a Northwestern student teacher. Brian Hurley (MS10), a science teacher and STEM coach at Reavis High School in Burbank, was a Golden Apple finalist.

The annual awards, which are staged like a surprise party, recognize some of Illinois’ best teachers who work in underserved communities. Golden Apple Award winners receive a tuition-free spring sabbatical at Northwestern University and a $5,000 cash award. They also become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community that supports current and future teachers.

School of Education and Social Policy alumni have received nine Golden Apple awards since 2007. The ten winners -- selected from 550 nominations -- will be honored May 18; the show will be broadcast later by WTTW Channel 11.

Learn more about our winners:

Sara Blair Winter-Rosenberg

An Evanston native, Winter-Rosenberg teaches Spanish for heritage learners at Mundelein High School where she also developed a Spanish-language independent reading program, sponsors Diversity Club and attends to Latino parents through Universidad de Padres. Before arriving at Mundelein, Winter-Rosenberg taught middle school math, ballet, and modern dance in the Bronx for two years with the New York City Teaching Fellows program.

“She’s an equity warrior,” Stacey Gorman, the district's director of curriculum and instruction told the Daily Herald. “She advocates for our Latino students. She gives them a voice.”

The Golden Apple Foundation cited Winter-Rosenberg’s “zealous efforts to create inclusive environments for students and helps provide the same opportunities to all students, regardless of their backgrounds.”

It also noted that she strives to help her students become lifelong readers, think critically, and question the inequities in the world around them. At the same time, she urges them to embrace their dual identity as bilingual and biliterate Latinos, and treat everyone respectfully.

“In a time when the political language is so negative towards Spanish speakers and Latinos, it means so much to give them a place where they can remember that what they have is something worth being proud of," Winter-Rosenberg told the Daily Herald. “They're really developing skills in their home language, which then helps them get a job or access college."

Her student praised her tireless work helping them with college applications, essays, and scholarship applications. They “carry her influence with them everywhere,” the Golden Apple Foundation said.

Corey Winchester

Corey_WinchesterWinchester, a Philadelphia native, teaches United States History, Sociology of Class, Gender, and Race, and Critical Leadership Studies. Known for bringing an urgency to his teaching and his relationships, his work focuses on helping students and families with marginalized identities succeed in educational settings.

History is Winchester’s guide; he uses the past to helps students develop a sense of self, awareness of others and a sense of community.

“He challenges his students to ask questions about history, the role race has played and still plays in the United States, and most importantly, to keep seeking answers after they are done with his class,” Genevieve Bookwalter wrote in the Chicago Tribune.

Before Winchester was hired at ETHS, he tutored students during his undergraduate years at Northwestern. He also did his student teaching at the school before being hired as a staff member.

Winchester has been a leader with the ETHS student group Students Organized Against Racism, or SOAR, which recently hosted nearly 400 students over two days of workshops on race and identity. He served for four years on the board of the nonprofit organization Evanston Scholars, which helps first-generation, low-income and students of color access a college education.

"Teaching is all about building relationships, radical love, and humanizing one another and I'll keep doing that as long as I'm able to do so,” he told Evanston Patch.

Golden Apple is just the latest honor for Winchester. In December 2018, Winchester was selected as one of 20 Illinois teachers named teaching policy fellows with Teach Plus, a national nonprofit designed to engage teachers to become leaders in transforming the system to best serve students of color. He’ll be speaking on “teachers educating radically” at TEDx Northwestern on April 27 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. 

“He’s a classroom leader, he goes above and beyond outside the classroom, he makes a real impression in the lives of kids,” ETHS Principal Marcus Campbell, a SESP instructor and former Golden Apple winner, told the Chicago Tribune. “Life changing impressions in the lives of students, and we’re proud to celebrate him.”

Nominations are currently open for the 2020 Golden Apple awards. While this year's edition was limited to high school teachers, next year's award will be open to outstanding teachers of students in fourth through eighth grades.

SESP Golden Apple Winners:

2019: Sara Winter-Rosenberg (MS12)
Corey Winchester (BS10)

2018: Gwen Faulkner (MS11)

2014: Michael Novak

2013: Scott Galson (MS06)

2012: Zackary Ruelas (MS10)

2011: Ron Hale

2010: Rosalind Kline-Thomas (MS11)

2007: John O'Connor

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 4/2/19