The best teachers still receive apples, though not always from their students.
In the Mid-Columbia, 10 teachers have new glass apples to polish after being honored during the 14th annual Crystal Apple Awards held Thursday at Columbia Basin College.
Jeff Estes, manager of science and engineering education at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, also was honored Thursday evening. He received a Special Achievement Award for his work linking academic learning to the world beyond the classroom.
Accepting the award, Estes said, "It's great to be here at an event recognizing teachers. Education is an important part of Battelle's focus, and I'm proud to be a partner in the interface between the laboratory and the community. It's a great job. I'm a very lucky man."
He and his team -- along with students, teachers, education leaders and parents -- have helped bring about a special emphasis on teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the schools.
Estes said Battelle has long been a leader in science reform. The STEM programs "have reached 700 teachers and 130,000 kids in southeast Washington," he said. "But we could not do it without a partnership between the community and the school. We share the same vision and goals. We're growing the next generation," he said.
PNNL's office of Science & Engineering Education also offers seven workforce development and diversity programs for students and conducts two PNNL-based professional development programs for teachers and faculty.
Before joining PNNL, Estes taught in the Richland School District for 13 years.
The teachers were chosen from the seven districts in Educational Service District 123: Kennewick, Columbia, Richland, Pasco, Finley, North Franklin and Kiona-Benton City. The first Crystal Apple Awards were given in 1999. Since then, 175 teachers have been honored, at least one yearly from each district.
The teachers honored Thursday were:
w Heidi Danekas, Columbia High School in Burbank.
w Jennifer Ward, River View High School in Finley.
w Caprice Consolvo-Olson, Cascade Elementary School in Kennewick.
w Jean Gardner, Hawthorne Elementary School in Kennewick.
w Jolyn McCarty, Kiona-Benton City Middle School.
w Kathy McEachen, Basin City Elementary School.
w Paula Gehlen, Robert Frost Elementary School in Pasco.
w Evelyn Abernethy, Longfellow Elementary School in Pasco.
w Marsha Brown, Jefferson Elementary School Richland.
w Sarah McMenamin, Hanford High School in Richland.
All the teachers received a crystal apple and a silver mug with an apple logo, $1,000 and other prizes provided by event sponsors. Estes received the same awards but not the check.