Some of the most qualified people to judge top-notch teachers are their own colleagues. That’s the concept behind the UTLA Platinum Apple awards given each year by our own, for our own, to recognize professional achievements. Educators are nominated by their colleagues for their achievements such as developing an innovative curriculum or an outstanding educational program or for exhibiting exemplary instructional techniques.
2017 Platinum Apple Awards
The awards was held on Friday, May 19, at the Taix Restaurant in Los Angeles. You will find each award winner video below with their respective nominating entry submitted by their Chapter Chair.
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Unknown, unsung, teachers do the noblest work on earth. They cultivate the tiny seeds of genius that they may blossom forth in all their glory. They light candles of greatness to dissolve the darkness of ignorance and fear. They are quiet workers building the foundations of tomorrow.
Such a teacher strives to pass on to their pupils the love of learning. They share with them their knowledge of books and beauty. They strive to cultivate wonder and awareness. They help them to discover themselves and their infinite possibilities. They help them to help themselves. They believe in children!
This Year's Winners
Click or tap names to watch our winners doing what they do best in the classroom.
Second Street Elementary
Los Angeles Academy Middle School
San Fernando Institute of Applied Media
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary
Camellia Avenue Elementary
San Pedro HS Marine/Math/Science Magnet
El Camino Real Charter HS
Nominating Entry by Rananah Lubovitch, Chapter Chair
“Mrs. Lopez makes each child feel special. She is that remarkable teacher who can reach students who act like they don’t want to learn or act like they don’t care. She is also that teacher that makes students reach for the stars. READ MORE
Nominating Entry by Arthur Lopez, Chapter Chair
“Mr. Warren is an excellent classroom teacher who uses a wide variety of resources to engage his students. He spends the weekends combing community resources: libraries, factories, cultural sites, museums, websites and businesses to find interesting materials, which he brings to class and connects to the standards to get students reading, writing, discussing and thinking at a college-level. READ MORE
Nominating Entry By Denise Noah, Chapter Chair
“Ms. Fitzgerald-Haddad helped write the proposal to establish this pilot school and was one of its founding teachers. When the school first opened and many things were in a state of flux, she worked hard to keep the new school running smoothly, even taking on unpaid tasks. READ MORE
Nominating Entry By Valerie Achara, Chapter Chair
“Mrs. Frazier-Despart is one of our most respected and highly regarded colleagues at our school. Mrs. Frazier-Despart has repeatedly shown that not only does she have the ability to excel in several areas of her own career, but she also has a passion for helping and assisting colleagues excel to promote student advancement and overall school improvement. READ MORE
Nominating Entry By Cristina Salas, Chapter Chair
"Maria Arreola, attended Camellia Avenue Elementary and was an exemplary student. She joined our staff in 1997 and has served the school for the past 20 years. Maria is a dedicated teacher who helps her students overcome the barriers we see so often in our neighborhood. READ MORE
Nominating Entry By Jennifer Ritz, Chapter Chair
“Tobey Shulman is a dedicated English teacher who is well-loved by her students. She is loving and funny with a deadpan sense of humor. She cries every time she reads, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'Les Miserables.' The kids know and love this. READ MORE
Nominating Entry By Jason Kinsella, Chapter Chair
“Samantha Spencer has been an inspiration to both her students and colleagues. She has shown herself to be an innovative, engaging teacher who works tirelessly to meet the needs of all her students, at all levels. Early in her teaching career at El Camino, Ms. Spencer instituted the 80-20 project. READ MORE
The Platinum Apple Committee, Martha Bayer (Chair), Juanita Garcia, Shirley Hardley, and Carolina Saucedo were given special acknowledgement for their dedication for serving on the committee. The secretary is Princess Sykes. Videographer was Karen Doss. Photographer, Laura Aldana, UTLA staff.
Thanks to our corporate sponsor for the event: National Teachers Association.