Music Teacher Receives Golden Apple Award

Music Teacher Receives Golden Apple Award
Posted on 05/22/2020
Golden Apple Award of Excellence in TeachingThe Zoom call at 9 a.m. Friday, May 22, was supposed to be a Greenbriar staff meeting, or at least that's what music teacher Jeremy Bartunek was told.

When Greenbriar Principal Dr. Ginny Hiltz admitted Mr. Bartunek into the call, he was greeted by over 80 faces cheering his accomplishment. Representatives from the Golden Apple Foundation, Greenbriar teachers and parents, his family members and District 28 administrators joined in the award announcement that he is the recipient of the 2020 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

 Jeremy Bartunek receives the news via Zoom call that his has won the Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award.  More than 80 colleagues, Golden Apple Board members and family members congratulate Mr. Bartunek on the award.

Mr. Bartunek is one of 10 Illinois teachers in grades 4-8 to receive the award this year for superior performance in the classroom and school community. Following a highly competitive process, the 2020 award recipients were selected from more than 730 nominations of 4th-8th grade teachers. 

"This award is presented to you for making beautiful music with students every day," said Golden Apple President Alan Mather via Zoom.

Erica Lee Marks, a Greenbriar parent, said, "thank you for the profound effect you have had on my kids. Their time with you has expanded their creativity, and it is going to resonate with my kids as they grow up."

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 award recipients demonstrate -- in their teaching and results -- significant, positive impact on their students' growth and learning, the award press release states. Fellow educators, students, parents and community members nominate teachers for the awards. Teachers may not self-nominate.

Master educators who recognize instructional best practices and who utilize professional standards to evaluate exemplary teachers and school leaders select the award recipients. Members of the selection committee visit the school, watch a video of the nominee's instructional practices, and interview colleagues, school leaders, students, parents and community members before selecting the winners from a pool of 30 finalists.

Mr. Bartunek allows the teachers and students in his school community to try new things to see what works and enables creativity to blossom, the award press release states. With the support of the community and school leadership, Jeremy led the creation of a district-wide children's choir, which is now thriving. 

Mr. Bartunek receives a semester sabbatical at Northwestern University at no cost. Also, each recipient receives a $5,000 cash award. Award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who support current and future teachers and deepen the learning of students, the awards release states.

The nomination period for the 2021 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership is open. All are invited to nominate exceptional Pre-K-3rd grade Illinois teachers and Pre-K-12th grade school leaders at