Palatine High School Teacher Mark Hibner is Golden Apple Award Finalist

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Mark Hibner

A District 211 teacher is a finalist for a prestigious Golden Apple Award, which recognizes teachers’ contributions to building a better-educated and strong society through the art of excellent teaching.

Mark Hibner, Applied Technology teacher at Palatine High School, was nominated for a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is one of 30 finalists for the award out of 400 initial nominations. He was recognized at the Golden Apple Celebration of Excellence on April 2.

Only 10 Golden Apple Fellows will be named by the organization’s committee, which is composed of volunteers ranging from principals, administrators, members of higher education faculties, and other Golden Apple Fellows.

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Mark Hibner (left) and Palatine High School Principal Gary Steiger (right) attend the Golden Apple Celebration of Excellence on April 2

“Really, this honor is not about me,” Hibner said. “It represents the passion of being an educator. We are in education to inspire young people to be the best they can, not only in the specific area we teach, but also in life. It really also represents the great people you are surrounded by – educators and leadership.”

There are several opportunities and rewards available to an individual if named a Golden Apple Fellow. Golden Apple Fellows are given a platform to create or contribute responses to the needs of children in Illinois. The award includes a paid, spring-quarter sabbatical at Northwestern University where fellows can take as many courses as they wish in any subject of their choice. Additionally, they will receive a $5,000 cash award and an induction into the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.

Hibner is the District 211 Applied Technology chair as well as Palatine High School Applied Technology department chair. He is instrumental in developing and implementing applied technology curriculum, including District 211’s Manufacturing Program.

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Mark Hibner and his family pose with Palatine High School Principal Gary Steiger (second from right) at the Golden Apple Celebration of Excellence on April 2.

Hibner credits the Golden Apple recognition to the talented educators he is surrounded by each day. He believes that without the collaboration and support of his colleagues and administration, he would not be the teacher he is today.

“There is no way I could have gotten to this point if it wasn’t for the support from the District 211 administration that helped me grow and become a better educator,” Hibner said. “Also, the support from all the other teachers in the school, the applied technology teachers at Palatine High School and in the District because we all really push each other to be better and to offer a quality service to our students.”