Baltimore And Harford County Educators Awarded For Visionary Proposals At 2023 Golden Apple Ceremony


Freedom Federal Credit Union awards grant funds to its 2023 Golden Apple Annual Education Award recipients (L to R): Christina Polsinelli, Colleen Cornacchione, Kevin Sams, Diane May, and Lisa Perry. (Credit: Ashira Quabili/ Freedom Federal Credit Union)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - Eight distinguished Baltimore and Harford Counties educators were recognized for their innovative visions and dedication to students at Freedom Federal Credit Union's 2023 Golden Apple Educator Awards ceremony on August 1.

Ms. Christina Polsinelli from St. Stephen School in Baltimore County and Mr. Don Heiderman from Fallston High School emerged as the grand prize winners, each receiving a grant of $2,000.

Polsinelli plans to use her award to introduce a sensory pathway and rock-climbing zone to her physical education curriculum, while Heiderman aims to establish an interactive vocational room for the STRIVE program, designed to assist students on the autism spectrum.

Previously only for Harford County educators, the award, now in its 12th year, has expanded its reach to include educators from Baltimore County.

Two educators, Dr. Stacey Durkovicˈ of Martin Boulevard Elementary and Colleen Cornacchione of George D. Lisby Elementary in Hillsdale, were presented with $1,000 awards. Dr. Durkovicˈ intends to set up a school store managed by special needs students, whereas Ms. Cornacchione will further her program, Attendance Champions, which has successfully reduced chronic absenteeism rates.

Four educators, including Kevin Sams of Dundalk High School and Principal Lisa Perry of Perry Hall Middle School in Baltimore County, and Diane May and Sarah O'Donnell from Patterson Mill Middle School and Bel Air Elementary School in Harford County, respectively, received grants of $500 each. Their proposed projects range from promoting small group learning and establishing ESOL lending libraries to enhancing science experiments.

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