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Golden Apple Foundation inducts sixty to The Scholars Class of 2022

Over 360 Scholars will receive tuition assistance, mentoring, job placement, and more

Golden Apple, a non-profit committed to preparing, supporting and mentoring aspiring teachers, inducted over 360 aspiring educators from across Illinois into its 2022 class of Golden Apple Scholars. The induction ceremony was held on Saturday, June 4 at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Targeted toward high school seniors as well as freshman and sophomore college students, the Scholars program provides participants with a robust support network, paid summer professional development, classroom teaching experience, job placement support, up to $23,000 in financial support, and mentoring from award-winning teachers.

“Our Scholars program provides life changing, holistic support to individuals with the determination and drive to become highly effective teachers. It also has the ability to make a material difference in the dire teacher shortage that we’re experiencing,” said Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple. “This Scholars class is taking a powerful first step toward impacting the lives of students in Illinois.” 

Illinois is currently facing a devastating and worsening teacher shortage crisis, making programs like Scholars that prepare next generation educators more important than ever. According to a recent report released by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents, 88 percent of school districts statewide reported having a teacher shortage problem in 2021, up from 77 percent in 2020. 

The Scholars program is designed to remove barriers that exist to entering the teaching profession and 97 percent of Scholars find employment within 90 days after graduation. Between placement assistance helping Scholars find the right school-of-need for them and mentoring services in their early years in the classroom, 82 percent of Scholars stay in teaching beyond their first five years.

55 percent of the newly inducted class of Scholars are incoming high school seniors, while 45 percent are transitioning from a community college or were already in a Bachelors’ program. Collectively, over half of all Golden Apple Scholars are first generation in their families to attend college and approximately 50 percent are people of color.

“The Scholars Class of 2022 will play a meaningful role in filling teacher vacancies across the state in future years, especially in critical subject areas like bilingual education, STEM, and special education,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of Golden Apple. “I look forward to watching this cohort progress through the program and become the highly skilled and dedicated teachers that Illinois students need and deserve.”

Over the summer, Scholars will participate in Golden Apple’s Scholar Institute, a rigorous, multi-week teacher preparation program. Some of this summer’s 11 Scholar Institutes kicked off on June 5, with others set to begin in future weeks and extend through July 28. Scholar Institutes are geographically dispersed throughout the state of Illinois. This summer, more than 1,000 Scholars will attend Scholar Institutes where they will prepare to become highly effective teachers. For more information on the Scholars program, visit

About Golden Apple

Golden Apple’s mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need. Our leading-edge preparation delivers exceptional teachers who make a positive and sustained impact. We help students thrive in the classroom and in life. Since our beginning, we have recognized master educators annually; and, these master educators prepare the future generation of teachers.  Our vision is an Illinois in which every classroom has a great teacher and to realize this, we are committed to making a material difference in resolving the teacher shortage. Visit for more information.

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