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Freedom Announces Golden Apple Annual Educator Award Winners

Wed, Jul 26, 2017

Freedom Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce Deborah Pawlowicz, as the winner in the Credit Union’s 2017 Golden Apple-Plus Annual Educator Award competition. Ms. Pawlowicz won the top $1,000 prize for her idea to interact with technology and use it as a means to improve the reading skills of her students. The annual award is for a Freedom member who is a deserving teacher, school administrator or school support employee.

Ms. Pawlowicz is a fifth grade English Language Arts teacher at Churchville Elementary. She stated in her entry that she wants her students to read with a purpose, and to be able to really understand and analyze text.  Ms. Pawlowicz says it is a worldwide issue to accept others regardless of their individual differences. Some students have developed a desire to work with people with disabilities, or to understand world conflicts, or how humans impact our environment.

How to manage this with students interacting with text on a computer was the challenge. Ms. Pawlowicz recommended the purchase of a subscription to a website that enables this interaction. This comes with many features, including one that allows both the teacher and students to choose the level of reading that they need. This is quite valuable since students who are struggling readers can read and interact with the same article as those who are gifted readers. This award allows Ms. Pawlowicz to purchase the needed subscriptions, one for every fifth grader in Churchville Elementary.

Runner-Up Winners

There were two Runner-Up awards with each recipient earning a $250 award.

Kim Mayforth, an Early Intervention Special Educator in the Infants and Toddlers Program at John Archer School, won a Runner-Up award for $250. Working with developmentally challenged children from birth to age 3, Ms. Mayforth proposed the purchase of adaptive toys that operate switches promoting the skill of cause and effect, communication, motor development, intentionality and social-emotional development.

The second Runner-Up award was won by Sandra Waltemire who teaches children with significant intellectual disabilities with specialized instruction in reading, math and life skills at North Harford Middle School. Her idea is to purchase supplies and ingredients to give her students to apply what they have learned with a meaningful, real life situation through completing a cooking recipe. In the process, functional math skills, such as budgeting, price comparison and measurement will be taught. The students would learn to independently prepare food at home in the future. 

All applicants were asked to submit an essay demonstrating how their idea would serve their students, class, school and the Harford County community. Entries were judged by a panel of Freedom employees, and board members.