The Tuscaloosa City Schools system on Wednesday celebrated its 10th annual Apple Awards in-person after meeting virtually in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time, the event was held at the Tuscaloosa River Market. In previous years, the event was held in the event hall of the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy.
"I think teachers are hard workers who deserve to be noticed," said Leslie Powell, a member of the Tuscaloosa city school board
Sixty-four nominees were chosen from each of the 21 schools within the TCS school system. This year's nominees were selected from the recognition programs: Alabama Teacher of the Year, Technology Innovation Award and Support Employee of the Year. Members of the system's transportation department and central office were also honored at the event.
Leslie Bruinton, the system's outgoing public relations coordinator, hosted the awards ceremony.
Eight winners in total were chosen to represent their perspective schools and were presented with a trophy. DCH Health System and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox were presented with the Outstanding Community Spirit Award.
TCS Support Employee of the Year Winners:
Chasity McPeek-Central Support Team
Samuel Lee Jones, Jr.-Transportation
Rhonda L. Steel-Rice-Woodland Forrest Elementary School
Emily Nolen-Northridge Middle School
Educators who won in the Technology Innovation Award and Alabama Teacher of the Year categories were presented a $500 allocation for instructional use.
Technology Innovation Award Winners:
Karlee Barger-Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
Sam Hensley-Eastwood Middle School
Alabama Teacher of the Year Winners:
Dana Burks-University Place Elementary School
Amber Emerson-Westlawn Middle School
The Apple Awards is an event recognizing excellence in education which honors teachers, technology staff and support employees. The event has been held annually since 2012.
Each year, schools select nominees to represent their building in each of the following recognition programs: Alabama Teacher of the Year, Technology Innovation Award and Support Employee of the Year.
Applications from each of the nominees are juried in a competitive judging process to name systemwide winners to represent the Tuscaloosa City Schools in state-level competitions.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Tuscaloosa City Schools honors teachers at 10th annual Apple Awards