WMU News

College of Education honors standout teachers

Oct. 3, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Three exemplary educators from the Kalamazoo area will receive the 2003 Golden Apple award, an honor bestowed annually on standout alumni of the Western Michigan University College of Education.

The 2003 honorees being recognized by the college and the College of Education Alumni Society are:

Van Dickerson, B.S. '78, M.A. '93, athletic director at Kalamazoo Central High School, Kalamazoo Public Schools.

Dr. Sandra Gagie, Ed.D. '78, owner and director of Kalamazoo's Gagie School.

Vickie Dove Winfield, B.A. '71, M.A. '77, principal of Winchell Elementary School in Kalamazoo.

Now in its sixth year, the Golden Apple Awards program begins with a reception at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in the Fetzer Center at WMU. The dinner celebration, scheduled for 7 p.m., is designed to honor outstanding people who are working or retired from the many professions associated with the educational experience and who represent excellence and commitment, says Dr. Gary Wegenke, dean of the College of Education.

"The qualities parents and other Americans' are looking for in the educators who teach and lead their sons and daughters are found in the Golden Apple Award recipients," he says. "They have a passion for teaching, a belief in the success of all students, competency in their subject matter disciplines, an awareness of the compatibility between teaching, learning and leadership, and an understanding that their work touches the future of our nation's democratic way of life."

In addition to being WMU graduates, the Golden Apple Award winners also share other qualities, according to College of Education officials. Each demonstrates enthusiasm for teaching and learning and has a distinguished record of applying and sharing their professional expertise.

At the same time, the three honorees are known for their positive impact on students through high standards, professional integrity and commitment to "learner-centered" education.

"This event is one way to say thank you to a group of outstanding WMU alumni from the College of Education who have excelled and brought dignity and respect to our profession," Wegenke says.

To inquire about reservations for the $25-per-person event or for more information, contact Amy Burns at (269) 387-2966 or <amy.burns@wmich.edu>. Reservation forms are available on the College of Education Web site at <www.wmich.edu/coe/alumni/events.html>.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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