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Ten Catholic school teachers in Archdiocese of Washington receive Golden Apple Awards for 2021

Kristen Kullberg, an English language arts teacher and instructional coach at Sacred Heart School in Washington, D.C., holds her golden apple after a surprise ceremony on May 26 when she was named as one of 10 Golden Apple Award winning teachers for 2021 at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington. Sacred Heart School, one of the archdiocese's Consortium of Catholic Academies, offers a bilingual curriculum to its students. (CS photo/Andrew Biraj)

Ten local Catholic school teachers of the Archdiocese of Washington were honored as 2021 Golden Apple Award winners because of their excellence in teaching and commitment to a quality Catholic education. The teachers were surprised with the news at their schools in late May, with representatives of the archdiocese’s Catholic Schools Office announcing the awards. 

The Golden Apple Award was created by the Pittsburgh-based Donahue Family Foundation whose founders, Jack and Rhodora Donahue, sent their 13 children to Catholic schools. Eager to express their deep appreciation to Catholic school teachers, the award was created to honor teachers for providing a quality academic and faith-filled education.

The teachers honored were nominated by their colleagues, students, and school parents for exemplifying the best in instructional strategies, Catholic identity, and knowledge of curriculum. The award recipients are receiving a $5,000 prize along with a golden apple and certificate.

The Golden Apple Award teachers for 2021 will be featured in a series of articles on the Catholic Standard website beginning in mid-June, and the articles will appear in the August Catholic Standard newspaper in a special issue before Labor Day honoring essential workers.

The Golden Apple Award winning teachers for 2021 in the Archdiocese of Washington are:

  • Emily Kogut, first grade teacher, St. Mary’s School in Landover Hills, Maryland. 
  • Kathy Gardenhour, second grade teacher, Holy Redeemer School in College Park, Maryland. 
  • Christine Green, middle school teacher and assistant principal, Our Lady of Mercy School in Potomac, Maryland. 
  • JoAnne Hall, computer teacher, media specialist and school administrator at St. Bartholomew School in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Kristen Weinman, pre-kindergarten and religion teacher, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy in Washington, D.C.
  • Kristen Kullberg, English language arts teacher and instructional coach, Sacred Heart School in Washington, D.C.
  • Bill Johnson, vice principal, eighth grade religion and social studies teacher, St. Columba School in Oxon Hill, Maryland. 
  • Mary Pollock, first grade teacher, St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland.
  • Kathleen Weslowski,  second grade teacher and assistant principal, St. Mary’s School of Piscataway in Clinton, Maryland.
  • MaryRose Depperschmidt, theology teacher, St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Leonardtown, Maryland.