First downstate winner of ‘Golden Apple’ prestigious award honored Central Illinois principal

Local News

The Golden Apple is an educational organization that aims to inspire, develop and support Illinois teachers and adminsitrative leaders. 

For the first time, a downstate principal received the prestigious recognition for excellence in leadership.

Golden balloons drop in Charles Lindbergh Middle School’s gym Thursday afternoon as middle schoolers serenaded Principal Sue Malahy. Her face showed complete shock and happiness as she unknowlingly walked into receiving an esteemed award, the Golden Apple.

“She is the kindest, gentlest, most trustworthy, empathetic human being I’ve ever had the privilege to know,” said her husband, Bill Malahy.

The Golden Apple Award has been in existence since 1985, honoring teachers in sx counties in the Chicago area. 2014 was the first time the organization honored a school administrative leader and Thursday was the first time a leader from downstate was chosen.

“People within this school community know what Susan Malahy does every day,” said  Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple Foundation. “Nobody else does and to be able to share the gifts that she brings to the school to the broader community is what we want.”

“I am amazed and very suprised,” said Sue Malahy, principal Charles Lindbergh Middle School. “Also very humbled.” 

Middle schoolers cheered at the top of their lungs Thursday afternoon, letting their principal hear and see their support for her on this special day.

“I have a wonderful staff and great students and families to support me,” said Mrs. Malahy. “So it has been a pleasure to have the job I have and to get the recognition is just the cherry on top.”

“If she didn’t win, the system was rigged because there’s nobody there who can hold a candle to her,” said Mr. Malahy. “She’s just phenomenal.”

Charles Lindbergh Middle School will receive $5,000 to put toward needs and enhancements.
Mrs. Malahy will also receive $5,000. She will also now help prepare illinois undergraduate students interested in teaching, especially schools in need.

Currently there are more than 1,000 Illinois teacher job openings, with nearly 3,400+ schools of need in the state. 

Golden Apple Scholars is another program aimed at creating a pipline for future teachers to find careers in the Land of Lincoln. 

To nominate a teacher for a Golden Apple, CLICK HERE.

To nominate a school leader for a Golden Apple, CLICK HERE.

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