Six District 211 Students Named 2013 Golden Apple Scholars

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District 211's 2013 Golden Apple Scholars. From left to right: (bottom row) Marco Arreola, Fatima Cisneros, and Elise Guerro. (Top Row) Timothy Coukart, Tiffany Guerro, and Karyn Baldwin.

District 211’s 2013 Golden Apple Scholars. From left to right: (bottom row) Marco Arreola, Fatima Cisneros, and Elise Guerro. (Top Row) Timothy Coukart, Tiffany Guerro, and Karyn Baldwin.

Many high school students have a drive and passion to become educators and work toward the prestigious goal of becoming a Golden Apple Scholar. District 211 has six students who are on their way to becoming future educators.

Students Marco Arreola, Elise Guerro, and Tiffany Guerro from Palatine High School, Karyn Baldwin from Schaumburg High School, and Fatima Cisneros and Timothy Coukart from Hoffman Estates High School were selected as part of 135 Golden Apple Scholars for the Illinois Class of 2013. Each student was recognized for his/her accomplishments by the Board of Education at its May 2 meeting.

Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois is a competitive program that seeks the best Illinois youth interested in a teaching career. Those selected receive advanced teacher preparation through four summer institutes that give them early practice and exposure to the art of teaching, as well as financial assistance for college. For freshman and sophomore year of college, students receive a $2,500 scholarship toward tuition per year. Junior and senior year they will receive $5,000 per year.

There are restrictions in order to maintain the scholarship. Golden Apple Scholars must earn a bachelor’s degree at one of 53 Illinois universities that participate in the program, obtain Illinois teacher certification, and teach for five years in an Illinois school of need. Scholars also must meet G.P.A. requirements, participate in Summer Institutes, and comply with a code of conduct while in the program. As long as they maintain those requirements, they will receive tuition assistance. They also receive a $2,000 stipend for each summer institute they attend.

Arreola, who plans on pursuing a career in secondary education with a concentration in Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL), said he is most excited about the program’s summer sessions and starting a fun career where he can help students. His sister, Palatine High School alumna Lizbeth Arreola, was a 2012 Golden Apple Scholar.

“I didn’t speak English when I started school, and I had a lot of teachers who helped me a lot, and helped me get into college,” Arreola said. “I want to be able to do that for students someday.”

Another family also has two Golden Apple Scholars to be proud of. Elise Guerro, who will be studying secondary education and English at the Illinois State University, said she is excited that she can share this experience with her sister, Tiffany. She said this opportunity has opened many doors for her and her sister.

“It’s wonderful that we both got the award because she deserves it and I worked very hard for it too,” Elise said. “I never thought I would get such a big scholarship. I was pushed by certain teachers to apply, but I never realized it could actually happen to me. You picture your life as ordinary until something big happens and you realize it can really happen to you, too.”

Applications are open for next year’s Golden Apple Scholars Award. For more information about the Golden Apple Foundation, visit its website here. Read more about all of the 2013 Golden Apple Scholars here.