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EIU Alumnus Tron Young a Golden Apple Award for Excellence Finalist


Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Leadership Finalists Announced 

Dr. Tron Young, principal of Joseph Arthur Middle School in O'Fallon, Illinois, a finalist

CHICAGO (March 7, 2023) -- The Golden Apple Foundation, the leading Illinois nonprofit committed to preparing, honoring and supporting great educators who advance educational opportunities for students, today announced the 2023 finalists for the distinguished Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Leadership, presented in honor of founding Golden Apple board member Stanley C. Golder. 

A highly competitive award process resulted in the selection of six Pre-K-12th grade school leader finalists from more than 130 nominations received.

The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership honors exemplary performance in school leadership by a principal or head of school who has had a significant and sustained positive impact on the school, created a culture of inclusivity, and delivered dramatic student growth.

“These school leaders are transformative and have shown the ability to empower teachers so their students may thrive,” said Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple. “We recognize their leadership, commitment to success and dedication to elevating those they serve within their school communities.”

View the 2023 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership Finalists 

“By designing a culture of high expectations for their school communities, school leaders like these finalists are creating positive outcomes for their teachers and students,” said Alicia Winckler, CEO of Golden Apple. “Our 2023 finalists have demonstrated leadership skills that have led to sustained growth for their school communities and we are proud to honor them.”

The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership recipients receive a cash award of $10,000, with $5,000 for the school leader and $5,000 for the school for a project of the recipient’s choosing. Award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who play an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in the Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs - which are dedicated to addressing the teacher shortage in Illinois.

About Golden Apple

Golden Apple's mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence, especially in schools-of-need. Our leading-edge preparation delivers exceptional teachers who make an impact. We help students thrive in the classroom and in life. Since our beginning, we have recognized master educators annually; and, these master educators help prepare the next generation of teachers. Our vision is one 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. Learn more at



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