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Two NLU alumni receive receive 2014 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education


Golden Apple officials surprised Rozy Patel with the news at Edgebrook School.

National Louis University today announced that two graduates of its National College of Education (NCE) received the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education. The National Louis alumnae and 2014 Golden Apple recipients, Rozy Patel and Margot Van Dyke, were part of the prestigious group of 10 total exemplary teachers selected from a pool of 620 nominees and 272 applicants representing 4th-8th grade teachers throughout the Chicagoland area.

With the addition of these two individuals, 62 total National Louis graduates from Chicagoland and Rockford have earned the prestigious Golden Apple Award recognition since the award was established 29 years ago. Local dignitaries and celebrities, as well as Golden Apple executives, notified the recipients during surprise visits to their classrooms on May 7, 8 and 9.

“National Louis is proud to prepare exceptional teachers who are represented in this elite group of Golden Apple Award recipients,” said Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., National Louis University president.

“I am thrilled to hear of this year’s Golden Apple Award recognition and the exceptional work and real difference that NLU alumnae Rozy Patel and Margot Van Dyke are making in their classrooms,” said Alison Hilsabeck, Ph.D., executive dean, National College of Education. “The National College of Education continues to prepare teachers and educators to meet the demands of today’s diverse classrooms – and teachers like Rozy and Margot exemplify this preparation in action.”

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Margot Van Dyke (in back with cap) poses with her class at O’Neill Middle School.

The Golden Apple is a prestigious award that recognizes teaching excellence, and builds on it, creating a dedicated community of mentors who will share their transformative teaching practices with prospective and veteran teachers. Each Golden Apple Award recipient receives a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University as well as a $3,000 cash award. Perhaps most importantly, Golden Apple teachers become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, providing a stronger voice and a larger stage from which to make an impact, through ongoing professional development and engagement in education reform, such as the mentoring of future teachers through Golden Apple’s Scholars program. The recipients of the 2014 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching will be honored at a black-tie gala on October 24 at WTTW/Channel 11 Studios in Chicago. WTTW will broadcast the awards in a one-hour television program following the event.

“At Golden Apple, we have a true partner with National Louis and its National College of Education,” said Dominic Belmonte, executive director of Golden Apple. “NCE consistently produces Golden Apple Award winners who are transformative, innovative and passionate teachers who work relentlessly to make a difference in the lives of their students. For that, we are so grateful.”

2014 Golden Apple Award Winners from National Louis University:

Rozy Patel
Science, Writing, Art, Sex Ed, 7,8th grades
Edgebrook School

Rozy Patel spent four years attending medical school before she realized that it was not the profession for her. After subbing in several schools Rozy discovered the joys of teaching. She became a teacher because the students’ energy was contagious. She loves preparing her students for the kind of work they live in, and she is very happy at the end of the day. As a scientist before entering the teaching profession, Rozy models, shares, and guides her students to probe deeply into their scientific inquiry, always encouraging higher order thinking.

Margot Van Dyke
7th General Science
O’Neill Middle School
Downers Grove

Margot Van Dyke is concerned about the future of her students in a world that needs a source of sustainable energy. Because people have a difficult time coming to consensus on how to solve our energy problem she has chosen to work as an actual research scientist in a university and bring what she learns back to her middle school classes. She tells everyone that she teaches because she loves it!  Students make her laugh daily. It warms her heart especially when her students email her with jokes to cheer her as she stays home every third week to recover from her chemotherapy treatments. She doesn’t have children of her own but says, “she gets 140 new kids each year and they matter.”