By MAX FILBY
The Findlay Rotary Club announced its nine semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Apple Award on Monday.
Rotary annually chooses three teachers from the elementary level, three from the middle school level, and three from the high school level to compete for the award, which will be awarded in October this year.
The winner at each level typically receives a golden apple along with a $2,500 prize to go toward their classroom. Second- and third-place finishers each get a $250 prize.
At the elementary level, the three semifinalists are Robynn Drerup and Audrey Stoffel, both kindergarten teachers at Findlay’s Jefferson Primary School, and Beth Nissen, a fifth-grade teacher at Bigelow Hill Intermediate.
At the middle school level, semifinalists are Leah Brant, a language arts teacher at Donnell Middle School; Tony England, a social studies teacher at Liberty-Benton Middle School; and Chad Mathewson, a social studies teacher at Glenwood Middle School.
High school semifinalists are Maribeth Geaman, an English teacher at Findlay High School; Heather Murray, a Spanish teacher at Liberty-Benton High School; and Audrey Van Hoose, a math teacher at Arlington High School.
The three winners of the Golden Apple Award will be named at a dinner at 6 p.m. Oct. 21 at Winebrenner Theological Seminary on the University of Findlay campus, said Julie McIntosh, a member of Rotary and dean of the university’s College of Education.
The Rotary Club accepted nominations for the award through the end of March. Nominees needed to be current teachers in a Findlay area or Hancock County school, had to have at least three years of experience, and had to spend most of their time in the classroom.
Nominees were whittled down to nine by a community selection committee. The nine semifinalists will be evaluated by a Rotary selection committee through resumes, classroom observations, a letter of recommendation, student references and personal essays.
A total of 55 teachers were nominated this year, McIntosh said.