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Alum Receives Golden Apple’s Principal Award Christine Adler, Lincolnshire principal, accepts the Stanley Golder award



National Louis University alum Christine Adler, Ed.D., accepts the Stanley Golder award from the Golden Apple Foundation. Adler is principal at Laura Sprague School in Lincolnshire, a northern suburb of Chicago.

At a gala ceremony on Friday evening, NLU alum Christine Adler, Ed.D., received the Stanley C. Golder Award, given annually by the Golden Apple Foundation to a principal who shows exemplary leadership.

Adler, principal of Laura Sprague School, an early childhood-grade 2 school in Lincolnshire, Illinois, was selected because of her advocacy of unique teacher styles, creation of bilingual services and embrace of multiculturism, along with her passion and support to help students excel to meet their potential, the foundation said.

At Friday’s awards ceremony at WTTW TV studios, fellow NLU alums Sonya Fields, Ph.D., and Fontane Thomas, who were two of the 10 Golden Apple teacher recipients this year, also received their awards.

Adler, who received her M.Ed. in Language and Literacy in 1994 and her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in 2014, was the only principal among the distinguished group of Chicago-area award winners. During her 15 years as principal at Sprague, Adler has advocated for teachers, students and parents. Staff say she respects unique teaching styles by giving teachers the flexibility to enhance their lesson plans and providing support and resources. She has been described as tireless, knowing all 555 of her students and their families.


Ayn Keneman, Ed.D., Sadia Warsi, Ed.D., Harry Ross, Ed.D., Rob Muller, Ed.D., Christine Adler, Ed.D., Norm Weston, Ed.D., and Sonya Fields, Ed.D., attended the 2015 Golden Apple awards ceremony.

Approximately 53 percent of the students in District 103 are bilingual and 13 percent qualify for services. With this in mind, Adler developed a World Language program in the district to expand foreign language instruction for students. She hosts cultural fairs and embraces diversity. She also started the full-day kindergarten program, along with a Teen Literacy Program and Club 103, which is a before- and after-school program for teachers to help students.

Adler has led Laura Sprague School to recognition as a Blue Ribbon School, a designation from the U.S. Department of Education. Standardized test scores for the school are in the top tier of the Illinois Standard Achievement Tests; 92 percent of students meet or exceed standards.

“At Golden Apple, we applaud the indisputable impact that strong leadership has on teachers’ ability to help students excel,” said Dominic Belmonte, president and CEO of Golden Apple. “Without a doubt, Dr. Adler’s demonstration of superior leadership and her commitment to the teachers and students at Laura Sprague School make her a very deserving recipient of the Stanley C. Golder Award.”

Adler will receive $10,000 to be used for her own professional development and a school project of her choosing. In addition, at The 2015 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching she, along with the 10 teacher recipients, will be honored at an awards ceremony on October 30, 2015 at WTTW/Channel 11 Studios in Chicago. WTTW will broadcast the awards in a one-hour television program following the event.

Nominations for the 2016 Stanley C. Golder Award open online in November at Administrators, teachers, counselors, parents, students, and community leaders are invited to nominate an outstanding principal or head of school currently serving in a leadership position at a public or non-public school. Nominations will close each January 1.

According to WTTW’s website, the Golden Apple awards ceremony will be televised at various times Nov. 19-26 on WTTW HD and WTTW Prime.

Rob Muller, Ed.D., Dean of NLU’s National College of Education, was joined at the awards ceremony by five NLU faculty members to celebrate the alums’ accomplishments: Harry Ross, Ed.D.; Sadia Warsi, Ed.D.; Norm Weston, Ed.D.; Sandra Stringer, Ed.D., and Ayn Keneman, Ed.D. They were also joined by Beth Chaidez and Jessica Salgado, two recent NLU alumni currently teaching in Chicago elementary schools, as well as two representatives from one of NLU’s partner organizations, Enlace Chicago in Little Village.

Belmonte, the Golden Apple Foundation CEO, said about National Louis University:
“It’s become no surprise to me that invariably each year a Golden Apple recipient is discovered to have a National Louis heritage. While the process we employ towards championing the excellence we seek does not focus on where the degree was obtained, time and again we discover to our delight that the path the excellent teachers we honor take passes through NLU.”

Golden Apple is a leading nonprofit committed to celebrating and developing great teachers with the ability and passion to make life-changing differences in the lives of students.