Super Bowl of Education

Golden Apple Trophies 2012

It's Super Bowl weekend and the whole world is watching. It's been analyzed, broken down, bet on and celebrated. I love it, but it won't be the most important event that I watch this weekend. There is more to life than football. (Did I say that out loud?!)

trophies with screen
Earlier this weekend I had the chance to attend the twentieth annual Golden Apple Awards, presented by KCTS9 and sponsored by PEMCO Insurance. I've been fortunate to attend at least ten of these inspiring events. On this occasion it was referred to as the "Super Bowl of education," and the award recipients as "all star MVT's - Most Valuable Teachers."

I wrote about the event in this space last year too. You can't help but see the edges that these people and program bring to their classrooms and schools.  One of my favorite quotes from the eventing and the one that I jotted down on my program during this year's event went like this.  I'm sorry I can't attribute it to a specific speaker. I must have been deeply in thought about the depth of what these few words mean. 
"These teachers make a way out of no way!"

How empowering, purposeful, enabling, resourceful, and competitive is that! Each time I attend a Golden Apple Awards event I am struck by the passion and commitment made in our schools. These are truly our MVT's and I am proud of PEMCO for seeing the edge that they each bring into our children's lives! The 2011 Golden Apple Award winners and this years Super Bowl of Education MVT's include:

  • Larry Barilleau, Hamilton International Middle School Music Instructor - "The connection to the arts helps strengthen my students' sense of worth and empathy for those around us."
  • Dan Brown, Okanogan High School Art Instructor - "My favorite compliment is walking into the home of parents of a former student and seeing their art work displayed."
  • Pamela Landoni, Sequim School District Professional Development Coordinator - "I love education. There is always something to learn from colleagues and students."
  • Golden Apple MowrerBeverly Mowrer, Burien's New Start High School Teacher - "Teaching is not my job - it's my calling." Beverly's students were once on the verge of dropping out. Some have been homeless and, she says, "they are always surprised when I tell them I've never spent a day in jail. That's not their normal."  Beverly is this years recipient of the prestigious Stanley O. McNaugton Award - a special golden apple that recognizes work that fosters student success in academic and/or vocational areas by enhancing their abilities to think and act both logically and creatively..." Stanley O., as he was referred to by friends, was the longtime CEO of PEMCO Insurance, passed away in 1998. 
  • Marcus Pimpleton, Denny Middle School & Chief Sealth High School Music Director -"The most powerful learning that takes place in my classes is not musical, but the personal development that comes from students taking ownership."
  • Valerie Stensland, Dutch Hill Elementary, Snohomish, Kindergarten Teacher -"Kindergarten should be where a child falls in love with learning."
  • George Thornton, Oroville High School Social Studies Teacher - "The challenges of being in a small, remote location of the state should not limit posabilities awaiting our students in the wider world."
  • Jennifer Wiley, Franklin High School, Seattle, Principal - "Education is a tool to provide any individulal access to a level playing field and the opportunity to prosper."
  • College Mentor Program, Wenatchee High School - "Supporting the unmet need of mentoring and supporting 'first generation' students in their pursuit of a college education."
  • Lincoln Center, Lincoln High School, Tacoma - "This accelerated learning program adds 540 hours of learning time to the school year to help students catch up academically."
Sincere congratulations to all of this years "Super Bowl MVT's" and many thanks to all educators throughout the state of Washington who commit so much of their lives to making the future of our children one that is filled with hope, promise, and possibility.