Colleen McKenna and Gina Romer are National Board Certified Teachers who were awarded the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching this past May. The Golden Apple is a nonprofit dedicated to honoring and supporting educators who elevate the teaching profession by advancing learning opportunities for students. This prestigious honor is given to 10 master teachers throughout the state of Illinois who are passionate about the teaching profession. McKenna and Romer were selected from more than 730 nominations.

McKenna is a fourth-grade teacher of students who are deaf and hard of hearing at Salmon P. Chase Elementary School in Chicago. She devotes hours to her students and instruction and actively purses grants to fund projects that are of interest to her students and school community. McKenna is pursuing her doctorate in special education leadership.

Romer is a sixth-grade social emotional learning and English language arts teacher in Springfield. Romer teaches at Grant Middle School’s School within a school program. She has started multiple clubs for students to feel included and make connections with the community and actively utilizes restorative practices to assist her students in learning to de-escalate tensions. Those impacted by Romer have reported that she has saved the lives of countless students.

Congratulations to these outstanding National Board Certified Teachers!