Golden Apple, a nonprofit organization that recognizes excellence in education, visited National Louis University alum Greta Kringle ’13 in her Chicago classroom Wednesday with a very special surprise: one of the 10 prestigious, highly-coveted Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 2019.
Golden Apple representatives visit each winner in their classroom and present the award with great fanfare in front of the winner’s school leadership, family and students. In this case they arrived at Eric Solorio Academy High School in Chicago’s Southwest-side Gage Park neighborhood, where Kringle teaches 10th-12th-grade science.
Kringle earned her Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) from National Louis in 2013.
Golden Apple’s process of selecting award semifinalists and winners is highly competitive. For the first time in the history of the awards, the eligibility boundaries were expanded to include all high school teachers in Illinois. Interest in the award was intense, and 550 nominations of high school teachers poured in from 71 Illinois counties. Golden Apple first culled those nominations to 30 semifinalists, which included three NLU alums, then pared the list to 10 winners.
Greta Kringle’s accomplishments
Kringle teaches 10th-12th-grade students AP Environmental Science, Honors Chemistry and Junior Seminar (College Readiness). In her role as chair of the Science Department at Solorio, Kringle recently introduced a new course, AP Environmental Science, and her students’ scores on that AP exam have already improved by 10 percent in two years.
While those academic accomplishments are impressive on their own, Kringle also takes on athletic challenges.
Varsity soccer girls won conference, had 3.5 GPA
Under her leadership, the Varsity Girls Soccer team was promoted to the highest league of competition in Chicago after an incredible season that ended with the team winning their conference. Her Varsity Girls Soccer student-athletes earned a program record 3.5 team GPA in 2018 after Kringle instituted mandatory study halls and program-wide academic check-ins.
This year, Kringle took on the additional role of assistant cross-country coach. Kringle is the school’s service learning coordinator and helps facilitate many service learning trips which help students build respect and appreciation for their local community.
According to Golden Apple, Kringle’s colleagues say she is a “bundle of joy” and her students say she is fearless, inspiring and does everything she can to make them feel empowered and loved.
Award recognizes impact on students’ growth and learning
The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching honors outstanding teachers for their roles in having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and building stronger communities. Teacher finalists demonstrate — in their teaching and results — significant, positive impact on their students’ growth and learning.
“The historic opportunity to bring the recognition of the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching to all of the schools and teachers in Illinois is thrilling and we are delighted to honor Greta Kringle this year,” said Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple.
“We believe that recognizing exemplary educators helps to elevate the teaching profession to its rightful place of honor,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of Golden Apple. “Golden Apple is inspired by the high standards set by these outstanding educators.”
Award recipients are selected by master educators who understand and recognize instructional best practices and who utilize professional standards to evaluate exemplary teachers and school leaders. Members of the selection committee viewed video evidence of instruction and observed finalists’ teaching in-person in their classrooms – a comprehensive day which included direct observation of in-classroom teaching accompanied by interviewing finalists’ colleagues, school leaders, students, parents, and community members.