Winners of the 2023-24 Golden Apple Awards Announced; Ceremony to be Held in Lane Auditorium on May 8

Winners of the 2023-24 Golden Apple Awards Announced; Ceremony to be Held in Lane Auditorium on May 8


Golden Apple logo

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia)—After sifting through a total of 1,420 nominations, the Golden Apple Selection Committee has announced the winners of the 2023-24 Golden Apple Awards.

Each year, Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS), Charlottesville City Schools (CCS), and area independent schools that are members of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) come together to gather nominations of teachers who best embody the characteristics of a good teacher identified by Richard Nunley at the inception of the program.

In early January, the committee began soliciting nominations of teachers who create a love of learning in students of all abilities and backgrounds; stimulate thought and provoke student dialogue; challenge students to reach high standards and expectations; understand the needs of students individually and collectively and meet those needs with determination, enthusiasm and imagination; and involve families in the education process.

“It has always been of the utmost importance to me to recognize our teachers for the hard work they do in supporting and instructing our future generations of leaders,” said Nunley, the former president of Better Living Building Supply and Cabinetry. “As a community, we have tasked our teachers with instilling a love of lifelong learning and creativity within our children. It is now our turn to thank them for taking on that task.”

Better Living Building Supply and Cabinetry logo

For more than two decades, the program has not only recognized the hard work of local teachers, but has provided classroom grants to the winners. Sponsored by Better Living Building Supply and Cabinetry, each winning teacher will receive a golden apple statuette and a $500 grant that can be used in their classroom.

This year’s ceremony will be held on May 8 in Lane Auditorium at the County Office Building located at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville. Beginning with a reception for the winners at 5 p.m., Mr. Steve Koleszar, chair of the Golden Apple Selection Committee, will lead the ceremony for the second year in a row starting at 5:30 p.m.

“We should always honor and recognize the great work of our teachers.” Koleszar, a former member of the Albemarle County School Board for 24 years, said. “Every day, they are not only teaching academics but are helping our children to thrive socially and emotionally.”

Koleszar is joined on the selection committee by Albemarle County Public Schools representatives Cyndi Wells, Gwedette Crummie, and Jonno Alcaro; Charlottesville City Schools representative Liza Utz; and independent schools representative Amber Wilkins.

The Albemarle County Public Schools 2023-24 Golden Apple recipients are:

  • Inga Tuzun, Agnor-Hurt Elementary School
  • Jennifer Morris, Albemarle High School
  • Randi Welborn, Baker-Butler Elementary School
  • Amy Gaertner, Broadus Wood Elementary School
  • Courtney Wood, Brownsville Elementary School
  • Ruby Garofalo, Burley Middle School
  • David Glover, Center I
  • John Baran, Community Lab School
  • Gary Grassi, Crozet Elementary School
  • Ciara Wolfe-Craig, Greer Elementary School
  • Meagan Hoy, Henley Middle School
  • Jim Loffredo, Hollymead Elementary School
  • Virginia Carew, Ivy Elementary School
  • Patricia Mariscal, Journey Middle School
  • Matt Hepler, Lakeside Middle School
  • Ellie Weikle, Monticello High School
  • Arianna Barkhordari, Mountain View Elementary School
  • Sean Snider, Murray Elementary School
  • Lindsay Winston, Post High
  • Holly Shiflett, Red Hill Elementary School
  • Angela Weymouth, Scottsville Elementary School
  • Jennifer Lunsford, Stone-Robinson Elementary School
  • Eddie Jackson, Stony Point Elementary School
  • Marissa Spurlock, Walton Middle School
  • Joel Hartshorn, Western Albemarle High School
  • Lexus Anderson, Woodbrook Elementary School

The Charlottesville City Public Schools 2023-24 Golden Apple recipients are:

  • Alton Coleman, Buford Middle School
  • Teresa Amasia, Burnley-Moran Middle School,
  • Matt Richardson, CATEC
  • Matthew Miller, Charlottesville High School
  • Madeline Hermsmeier, Clark Elementary School
  • Kathryn Rogers, Greenbrier Elementary School
  • Rachel Lieb, Jackson-Via Elementary School
  • Kelly Walters, Johnson Elementary School
  • Megan Greenwood, Venable Elementary School
  • Edward Cash, Walker Upper Elementary School

The local private school 2023-24 Golden Apple recipients are:

  • Dedra Demaree, Blue Ridge School
  • Vanessa Devlin, Charlottesville Catholic School
  • Ellen Ewell, Miller School of Albemarle
  • Sue Alston, Mountaintop Montessori School
  • Becky Gall, St. Anne’s-Belfield School
  • Ned Fischer, Tandem Friends School
  • Dan Warren, The Covenant School

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