Golden Apple Surprises Brighton Park Elementary School Teacher with Prestigious Award for Excellence in Teaching

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Golden Apple, the leading Illinois nonprofit committed to preparing, honoring and supporting exemplary educators who advance educational opportunities for students, surprised Paloma Salcedo, a fourth-grade teacher at Brighton Park Elementary School in Chicago with the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. For the first time in Golden Apple’s history, the awardees are being notified differently than in the full-school environment, and Salcedo was surprised during a virtual meeting with school staff. The demand for recognition throughout the state was profound, with nominations for outstanding teachers and leaders received from 64 Illinois counties.   

“Exemplary teachers create an extraordinary ripple effect that benefits students, transforms schools and strengthens communities,” said Golden Apple President Alan Mather. “We look forward to Paloma Salcedo joining our mission to prepare the next generation of highly effective teachers for Illinois schools through our Scholars and Accelerators programs. Our award recipients play a major role in Golden Apple’s efforts to make a material difference in resolving the teacher shortage crisis across Illinois.”

Salcedo, a fourth-grade Transitional Bilingual teacher, uses culturally responsive texts to help students build their individual identity as a member of their school, neighborhood and community. Her passion and commitment to teaching is evident through her meticulous and organized approach to helping her students succeed academically and socially. Both peers and parents comment on her superior classroom management skills, which empower students to manage themselves and learn independently. Her students achieved 90th percentile growth on both NWEA reading and math MAP assessments in her classroom, a particularly impressive feat given the unique makeup of her students (third and fourth-grade split level, with most students speaking their heritage language).

As a highly valued component of this recognition, Northwestern University, Golden Apple’s partner for more than 30 years, generously provides a Spring Sabbatical to award recipients at no cost.  “Both Northwestern and Golden Apple are dedicated to developing teachers who will transform the lives of their students and we are proud to host these master teachers on the next step in their professional journeys in education,” said Timothy Dohrer, Ph.D., Director of the Master of Science in Education Program at Northwestern University’s School of Education & Social Policy. For more information, visit

Comments are closed.