Dedication to the profession. 2017 Golden Apple awardees are honored at the January 16 LACOE board meeting. From left to right: Board President Alex Johnson, Celia Gomez-Schroeder, Hana Tamim, County Superintendent Debra Duardo, Chief Academic Officer Arturo Valdez.

On January 16, 2018, the Los Angeles County Board of Education presented the Fourth Annual Golden Apple award to Celia Gomez-Schroeder and Hana Tamim.

This award recognizes outstanding individuals who excel in teaching and leadership in the classroom. Both teachers were recognized for implementing their curriculum to fidelity, demonstrating exemplary adult-child interactions, employing creativity in their classrooms, and continually improving their practices to be a role model for others.

Celia Gomez-Schroeder, an Early Head Start teacher at Pomona USD, “is committed to the home-based model and works diligently to create a culture of excellence within our EHS unit,” said Christine Seitsinger, Pomona USD Program Administrator. “She ensures that each child has a learning experience every time she meets with them and enriches the environment of her socializations to safeguard the need for each child to learn at their own pace.” In addition to her work in the classroom, Gomez-Schroeder also regularly attends trainings and conferences to assist her colleagues with professional development. “Ms. Gomez-Schroeder is not a typical EHS teacher… I can truly say that she impacts the field and our department with the knowledge and support she gives to everyone,” Seitsinger said.

Hana Tamim, a Head Start teacher at St. Anne’s Maternity Home, demonstrates “an on-going commitment to learning and professional development,” said Ruby Garcia, St. Anne’s Beverly Center Manager. Tamim’s journey with Head Start began as a non-English-speaking parent; after volunteering in her child’s classroom, she quickly realized that she wanted to continue working with children. She has since gone on to learn English, her third language, and attain multiple degrees. She also recently upgraded her Master Teacher permit to Site Supervisor. Tamim is “a great role model for teachers and parents in the program,” said Keesha Woods, Executive Director, LACOE Head Start-State Preschool.

The two Golden Apple awardees were selected from a remarkable group of excellent teachers, including:

  • Maria Elena De Casas (Children’s Institute, Inc.)
  • Silvia Colato (Foundation for Early Childhood Education, Inc.)
  • Maria Nava (Foundation for Early Childhood Education, Inc.)
  • Amalia Reta (Norwalk-La Mirada USD)
  • Silvia Troncoso (ABC USD)
  • Sheila Twaddell (Pomona USD)