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Rebecca Perry MA '21

When 20 people suddenly barged into Rebecca Perry’s 8th grade science classroom one morning, both she and her students were surprised—and excited. It turns out it was a visit from the Golden Apple Foundation of Rockford, IL, to announce that Perry had been named a Golden Apple teacher award recipient for 2022. Perry’s principal and district superintendent, family, and media representatives were also there to capture the moment the award was presented. Perry MA ’21, a teacher at Belvidere South Middle School, is a graduate of Concordia-Chicago’s principal preparation program.

“I teach five sections of science, so the four other classes were disappointed they did not get to experience it … but it was so sweet to see how much the award meant to the students,” Perry says.

She is among the Golden Apple of Rockford’s five teacher award recipients for 2022. Golden Apple recipients are recognized for making a difference in their communities through their commitment to educational excellence.

In the first round, Perry was distinguished among 20 outstanding secondary school teacher finalists representing public and non-public school districts of Winnebago and Boone counties in Illinois. Since November, all 20 participated in a rigorous selection process. To select the five winners, finalists were interviewed by teams of Golden Apple Foundation volunteers.

“It was such an honor to be presented with the Golden Apple Award. As any educator would tell you, the last two years have been incredibly difficult,” says Perry. “There has been so much out of our control, but if we can focus our energy on things within our control, great things are still possible!”

Perry and the other four Golden Apple award winners will be officially welcomed at the annual Golden Apple Foundation Excellence in Education banquet later this month. Upon her induction into the Golden Apple Teacher Academy, Perry will be presented with a cash award and a professional development stipend, a new laptop, and a professional development scholarship at Rockford University. Once inducted, Golden Apple teachers join 197 other Golden Apple Teacher Academy members in continuing to positively affect the education profession through mentoring and professional development of teachers from Winnebago and Boone counties.