SXU alum wins Golden Apple teaching award
John Nieciak of Mount Greenwood holds three SXU degrees
Chicago (May 20, 2008) Saint Xavier University graduate John Nieciak was one of 10 Chicago-area teachers honored with the 23rd Annual Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching in Grades 4 through 8. Nieciak is the sixth Saint Xavier graduate to receive the Golden Apple Award since its inception in 1986.
The Golden Apple Foundation, which is dedicated to recognizing and developing excellence in teaching, will honor the winners at an award ceremony on Sept. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The ceremony will be aired later as a one-hour prime-time special on WTTW/Channel 11.
Nieciak, of Mount Greenwood, holds three degrees from SXU — a Bachelor’s in English, a Master’s in education and a reading specialist certificate. He is a reading and language arts teacher at Mark Sheridan Math and Science Academy in Evergreen Park.
“I received this for 20 years of working every day to perfect my craft … It’s about seeking support and guidance from experts and then bringing that expertise to the classroom,” Nieciak said. “It keeps me renewed.”
A total of 850 teachers from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will were nominated for the award with. 31 finalists named in January.
Each of the 10 Golden Apple Award winners will receive a tuition-free spring-term sabbatical at Northwestern University, a personal computer from IBM, $3,000 and membership in the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, which now has inducted 220 expert teachers who work together to ensure that all children have the excellent instruction they deserve.
The Awards Selection Committee is comprised of distinguished Chicago-area educators. Two selection committee members observed each of the 31 finalists in their classroom and interviewed their principal and selected colleagues, parents and students.
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