Ten teachers from the Tri-Cities and Mid-Columbia will be honored today at the 14th annual Crystal Apple Awards at Columbia Basin College.
Hailing from seven school districts in Educational Service District 123, the educators will be recognized for their contributions in the classroom and positive influence on students.
"It was some tough choices," said Finley Superintendent Lance Hahn, who sat on the selection committee. "It's a tough process."
An unnamed individual also will receive a special achievement award at the ceremony. Molly Curtiss, ESD 123 spokeswoman, said the winner usually is not an educator but has made significant and sustained contributions to education in the region.
Education officials instituted the Crystal Apples in 1999, and 175 teachers have received the award.
Districts seek nominations from their administrators and teachers before taking final selections to a committee of superintendents or their representatives.
Curtiss said districts are guaranteed one award winner each year. There also were three at-large awards designated for this year.
Hahn said five teachers were recommended for the at-large awards this year and all had admirable accomplishments and rsums.
"All the teachers are impressive, so it's hard to delineate between the teachers who win and the teachers who don't," said North Franklin Superintendent Gregg Taylor.
The teachers to be honored today are:
-- Heidi Danekas, Columbia High School.
-- Jennifer Ward, River View High School.
-- Caprice Consolvo-Olson, Cascade Elementary School.
-- Jean Gardner, Hawthorne Elementary School.
-- Jolyn McCarty, Kiona-Benton City Middle School.
-- Kathy McEachen, Basin City Elementary School.
-- Paula Gehlen, Robert Frost Elementary School.
-- Evelyn Abernethy, Longfellow Elementary School.
-- Marcia Brown, Jefferson Elementary School.
-- Sarah McMenamin, Hanford High School.
All the teachers, who already have been notified of their awards, will receive a Crystal Apple, $1,000 cash award and other prizes provided by event sponsors.