Three teachers in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 are among the 30 finalists for the 2015 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

They are Greg Daniels, who teaches kindergarten at Oakton Elementary School; Andrea Macksood, a third-grade teacher at Oakton; and James Schamber, a second-grade teacher at Orrington Elementary School.

The Golden Apple Foundation named the Evanston educators from a pool of more than 600 nominations, representing educators throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

The 30 finalists will experience a final round of review and classroom observations before the selection and announcement this spring of the 10 award recipients.

The winning 10 will each receive a tuition-free spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University, plus a $5,000 cash award and recognition as a Fellow of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.

Greg Daniels has taught kindergarten at Oakton for the past 21 years and has coached the Oakton Cougars co-ed flag football team for 20 of those years.

Andrea Macksood teaches in Oakton’s Two-Way Immersion program. Before joining the Oakton faculty two years ago, she taught in Chicago Public Schools for 13 years.

James Schamber is a nine-year veteran of teaching second grade at Orrington. He was cited for his ability to motivate the most reluctant learner. He calls himself “a cheerleader for students needing motivation, a counselor to those who are hurt and need healing, or a father to those looking for a hug.”

“District 65 is very fortunate to have dedicated educators like Mr. Daniels, Ms. Macksood, and Mr. Schamber who are truly committed to making a difference in the lives of our children,” said Superintendent Paul Goren. “Their passion for this profession exemplifies what it means to serve every child, every day, whatever it takes,” he added.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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