Albemarle Co. Teacher Awarded Golden Apple and Grant Funds

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Ellen Patterson's Golden Apple award Ellen Patterson's Golden Apple award
Ellen Patterson Ellen Patterson
Ellen Patterson's class at Murray Elementary School Ellen Patterson's class at Murray Elementary School

An Albemarle County teacher now has some extra cash to keep up her outstanding work in the classroom.

Golden Apple winner Ellen Patterson at Murray Elementary School is making sure next year's third graders have a unique experience.

Patterson was nominated for the award by parents and teachers who say that she takes extra care to involve parents in the classroom.

One of the big topics she covers every year is ancient civilizations.

"We are right now looking at our curriculum for next year, and part of it is creating an interactive museum where students can be curators and cartographers and create artifacts representing ancient civilizations," Patterson said.

Patterson says money is usually limited when it comes to projects like this. She plans on working with other teachers over the summer to figure out what exactly they will do with the grant money.

At the annual Golden Apple celebration last evening in Lane Auditorium in the McIntire Road Albemarle County Office Building, 45 local public and private K-12 school teachers received awards and grants. The regional teacher recognition program, held during national Teacher Appreciation Week is sponsored by Better Living Building Supply & Cabinetry.

With businesses in Charlottesville and Zion Crossroads, the company has made community service a core value since its founding in 1893. Golden Apple celebrates performance excellence and curriculum innovations by teachers who are nominated for the award by principals, colleagues, parents and students. An independent panel reviews each nomination and selects the award winners.

Chairman of the Better Living Board, Richard L. Nunley, began Golden Apple as a “means of selecting and honoring outstanding teachers who are most important in nurturing our children’s inquisitive minds and preparing them for the challenges of the future,” he said.

According to program criteria, teachers are selected for their “demonstrated ability in the classroom to create a love of learning among students of all abilities and backgrounds.” Judges look for evidence that teachers are simulating thought and dialogue among students; challenging them to reach high standards and expectations; understanding the needs of students and meeting those needs with determination, enthusiasm and imagination; and involving families in the education process.

“All of us remember outstanding teachers who helped us and made a significant difference in our lives,” said Mr. Nunley. “We created the Golden Apple Award Program to recognize each year the exceptional and innovative teachers who contribute so much to our children and families in Central

Virginia,” he added. Pamela Sutton-Wallace, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Virginia’s Health Systems, was the keynote speaker for this year’s awards program.

Among the 2017 Golden Apple award winners from Albemarle County Public Schools were:

Sibylle Rotach-Hunt, Agnor-Hurt Elementary School

Kirsten Fuoti, Albemarle High School

Ashley Wright, Baker-Butler Elementary School

Ray Chrobak, Broadus Wood Elementary School

Teresa McCreight, Brownsville Elementary School

Jason Poole, Burley Middle School

Eileen Guevara, Cale Elementary School

Bobby E. Elliott, Jr., CATEC

Renee Willis, Center for Learning & Growth

Don Barnes, Community Public Charter School

Adele LaFontaine, Crozet Elementary School

Emily Rexrode, Greer Elementary School

Eric Betthauser, Henley Middle School

Anna L. Snyder, Hollymead Elementary School

Lin Hill, Jouett Middle School

Destinie Thomas, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School

John C. Baran, Jr., Monticello High School

Ellen D. Patterson, Murray Elementary School

BJ Santos, Murray High School

Sylvia Jenkins, Red Hill Elementary School

Kimberly Gentry, Scottsville Elementary School

Diane D. Goodrich, Stone-Robinson Elementary School

Mariel Mendez, Stony Point Elementary School

Wynne Taylor, Sutherland Middle School

Paula Hoffman, Walton Middle School

Robyn C. Evans, Western Albemarle High School

Elizabeth Coppolino, Woodbrook Elementary School

D’Ann Dickerson, Yancey Elementary School


2017 Golden Apple Award winners from Charlottesville City Public Schools included:

Melvin Grady, Buford Middle School

Jessica Powley, Burnley-Moran Elementary School

Bryan Kayser, Charlottesville High School

Ashley Riley, Clark Elementary School

Amy Jones, Greenbrier Elementary School

Lisa Utz, Jackson-Via Elementary School

Lorena Caballero Bower, Johnson Elementary School

Michael Ryan McCrory, Lugo-McGinness Academy

Nicole B. Driggs, Venable Elementary School

Samantha Pagni, Walker Upper Elementary School

2016 Golden Apple Award winners from local private schools included:

Lauren DeVane, Charlottesville Catholic School

Tom Pallante, Miller School of Albemarle

Corey Borgman, Mountaintop Montessori School

Anne Wendling, St. Anne’s Belfield School

Prudence Huddleston, Tandem Friends School

David Welty, The Blue Ridge School

Ash White, The Covenant School