Corey Winchester declared Golden Apple recipient


Rachel Krumholz

Corey Winchester was awarded a 2019 Golden Apple Award on March 18.

Rachel Krumholz, Staff Writer

Corey Winchester was surprised with the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Golden Apple Committee during second period last Monday. They announced the award with a visit from friends, reporters and a musical fanfare.

“I definitely was shocked and humbled,” Winchester said. “I knew that [Golden Apple] would be surprising teachers and as soon as I heard ‘Corey Winchester!’ I was like this is the visit.”

Winchester teachers Honors and AP US History and Sociology of Class, Gender and Race and facilitates independent study courses in Critical Leadership Development.

The Golden Apple is a statewide program that recognizes exceptional teachers and works to help students thrive in the classroom. According to their website, their mission is to “inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need.”

550 high school teachers were nominated. Once 32 finalists were selected, 10 teachers were eventually deemed recipients of the award.

“I am not surprised at all. From the moment the Golden Apple folks were here just observing his class and getting a scope of what he was doing, I automatically knew [he would win],” senior Caelen Behm said. “He is revolutionizing the way students think and bringing a sense of community to the public school system.”

Winchester was observed by Golden Apple award committee members after he was declared one of the finalists. Senior Emma Barreto was one of several people they interviewed about Winchester when committee members came to ETHS.

“It was really nice to be talking about him and to know it paid off; that they actually heard us and honored him for what he is,” Barreto said.

Golden Apple recipients become lifetime members of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, receive $5,000 and a spring sabbatical at Northwestern University.

Recipients of Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership will be honored on May 18.

“It’s not [about] the paycheck. This isn’t a job for me,” Winchester said. “Of course there are moments when you are fatigued and tired, but really this is a way of life, and I am very privileged to have the opportunity to implement the things I think are important for us in a world filled with so much negativity and oppression.”