ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Local teachers gathered at Rockford University on Tuesday for the 2024 Golden Apple nominee reception.

The award, organized by the Golden Apple Foundation, “inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community.”

“Since 1997, the Golden Apple Foundation has grown from honoring teachers in one school district to honoring teachers, principals and volunteers in more than 150 schools, both public and non-public, in Winnebago and Boone counties.”

Hundreds of teachers from across the Rockford area attended the reception to learn about the award’s portfolio submission process. In December, a selection committee will complete a review of the paperwork.

From there, 20 teachers will be selected and recognized at the Excellence in Education banquet. However, only five educators will receive the Golden Apple Award; which includes a cash award, a professional development stipend, and a Rockford University scholarship.

“This is actually a huge honor. About five years ago my wife was nominated and she’s here tnoight, she won,” said Belvidere Central Middle School teacher Kevin Huetson. “So for me to kind of be mentioned in the same breath as her is a great honor.”

To learn more about the award and the organization, visit the Golden Apple Foundation’s website here.