For the 25th year, the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools has named Lee County's top teachers.
Billy Lansberry, a 9-12th-grade teacher at North Fort Myers High who has been teaching for six years; Laura Reed, a pre-K teacher at Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Littleton Elementary who has been teaching for 13 years; Kim Smith, a fourth-grade teacher at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts who has been teaching for 12 years; Heather Millican, an eighth-grade teacher at Cypress Lake Middle who has been teaching for 11 years; Charles O'Connor, an eighth-grade teacher at Lexington Middle who has been teaching for 14 years; and Eric Riemenschneider, a 9-12th-grade teacher at Fort Myers High who has been teaching for six years, are this year's Golden Apple recipients.
We congratulate the winners as well as all of the finalists and note with pride that three of the six are West Zone teachers.
"Each year, the Golden Apple Program recognizes teachers who represent outstanding performance in their profession," a prepared statement announcing the winners reads, adding Golden Apple teachers are those the foundation deems to have a "profound impact" on the lives of the children they teach.
They are selected through a process that begins with nominations and includes the submission of an application, in-classroom observations and an interview with the Golden Apple Selection Committee.
Those who are subsequently named receive a $3,000 cash award, a gold apple lapel pin and membership in the Academy of Teachers, a Golden Apple program created to provide continuing education opportunities.
The six will be formally honored next month at the 25th Annual Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Banquet.
Again, our congratulations as well as our thanks to not only these fine educators but also to the businesses and volunteers who make the program possible.
- Breeze editorial