Source: YouTube

The Golden Apple Foundation, the leading Illinois-based nonprofit committed to preparing, mentoring, and honoring educators who advance educational opportunities for students, today surprised Chelsea Young, a 5th grade teacher at Woodland Elementary School in Joliet, with the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Young is one of 10 teacher award recipients in Illinois.

Chelsea Young, a 5th-grade teacher at Woodland Elementary School in Joliet

Following a highly competitive process, the 2023 teaching award recipients were selected from more than 570 nominations of 4th-8th grade teachers.

“These remarkable teachers have shown their dedication, creativity and impact on their students and schools. They have also contributed to their professional communities by sharing their best practices, collaborating with their peers and mentoring new teachers,” said Alan Mather, President of The Golden Apple Foundation. “They are not only exemplary teachers, but also influential leaders. The 2023 award recipients will join our mission to impact the lives of even more students by supporting the next generation of great teachers through our teacher preparation programs.”

The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching honor outstanding teachers for having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and school communities. Teacher recipients demonstrate – in their teaching and results – significant, positive impact on their students’ growth and learning.

“These outstanding educators have demonstrated their commitment, passion and impact consistently with their students and in their communities,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of The Golden Apple Foundation. “They are not only making a difference in teaching, but are also inspiring community leaders and lifelong learners. We are honored to recognize them and support them as they advance their learning and continue to evolve as educational influencers.”

About Chelsea Young
Young recognizes that the power of student choice allows them to take ownership of their learning. She also strives to teach her students that they have a voice, and they have the power to advocate for the future they want. Young utilizes restorative justice practices and therapeutic techniques in her classroom to help students who may have experienced trauma. Young meets with students after hours if needed and even attends their sporting events. No student is left behind in Young’s classroom.

Young’s connections and mentorship she provides to others in her community who work with youth, impact students outside of her school. Her impact as an educator has even touched communities as far as Bolivia as she volunteered there to help build a school and provide instruction.

About the Golden Apple Award

Each award recipient receives a $5,000 cash award and a spring sabbatical provided by Northwestern University at no cost. Award recipients also become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who play an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in the Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs – which are dedicated to addressing the teacher shortage in Illinois.

The nomination period for the 2024 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership is open. All are invited to nominate exceptional Pre-K-3rd grade teachers and Pre-K-12th grade school leaders in Illinois at