The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching are making a comeback after a two-year hiatus.
The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce is re-introducing the awards in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
The next awards ceremony is scheduled to take place 30 November, 2013 at the Clifton Hunter High School auditorium. There will be no charge for tickets this year, unlike in previous years.
Ten outstanding teachers and principals will be honoured in the following categories: primary school teacher in a public school; primary school teacher in a private school; high school teacher in a public school; high school teacher in a private school and principal in a public or private school.
In addition, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be bestowed on one unique individual who has selflessly dedicated his or her life to securing a better future for the next generation.
Nominations will soon be open to the public and people can fill in nomination forms electronically and email their completed forms to the Chamber of Commerce. An independent panel of judges tabulates the scores of the nominees, based on the public’s nominations.
The last Golden Apple awards ceremony was held in 2010, at which Olive Miller received an award for her years of dedication to the development of young people, the Cayman Islands High School, Cayman Prep and the Girls Brigade.
“I was very honoured and surprised at being selected for the award. I was presented with a beautiful piece of crystal which is on display at the Cayman Island Museum for everyone to see,” said Ms Miller.
According to the Chamber, community response in previous years has been phenomenal with close to 1,000 nominations being submitted.
When it comes to adding to the educational calendar, the Chamber believes the acknowledgement of the teaching profession positively impacts future generations.
The Chamber decided in 2011 to discontinue the event as sponsors were finding it challenging to support during the economic downturn, and there was a need to review the programme and the judging criteria.
With two fewer awards this year, organisers are focusing on implementing a tighter set of judging standards and narrowing the number of final nominations. This was completed earlier this year with the help of the Ministry of Education.
The Golden Apple Awards were first introduced in 2007, to acknowledge educators of outstanding dedication and commitment to their profession, who go beyond lesson plans to ensure students can succeed.