The Gift of Appreciation Students Nominate Lisle Teachers for Golden Apple Foundation Awards

Article excerpt

Teachers Cherol Lott and Diane Johnson have gotten it all at Lisle's Schiesher Elementary School.

Gift certificates. Cookies. Fudge. Chocolate and an array of handmade gifts from their students as an outpouring of appreciation for the teachers' hard work.

And now someone has given them something most teachers never get, and the women couldn't be happier.

Johnson and Lott recently were nominated anonymously for the 2000 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

The Golden Apple Foundation received more than 1,800 nominations for exceptional elementary school teachers in the 15th Annual Golden Apple Awards. The group eventually will honor the top 10 Chicago-area teachers.

Lott and Johnson were the only two nominated in Lisle.

And though they didn't finish among the 32 finalists, they are nevertheless thrilled.

"I don't think we do enough to recognize the excellent teachers we have. And any program that helps us highlight excellent teachers, we're pleased they're there," Unit District 202 Superintendent J. Peter Lueck said.

"I wish my own children had the same kindergarten experience that these teachers provide," he said.

The nomination for the prestigious award is the dream of a lifetime for many area teachers, both women said.

The women found out about their nominations in December.

Lott recalled the letter coming directly to their faculty mailboxes.

"You grab the mail and you go 'Holy cow! Look at this. This is wonderful,' " Lott said.

Johnson, checking her mail at the same time, found she was nominated, too.

"We jumped around for a little while and congratulated each other, and everybody was happy for us," Lott said.

Lott, 57, has been a teacher at Schiesher for 24 years. This is her second nomination - the first was in 1997.

She taught special education for two years and then went into teaching kindergartners. …