CHICAGO | Mount Carmel High School instructor Curt Ehrenstrom, of Oak Lawn, was recently named a finalist for the 2013 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Ehrenstrom, a faculty member in Mount Carmel’s science department, is one of 32 finalists selected from a pool of 510 nominations and 215 applicants representing high school teachers throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. He is the only finalist from a Catholic school in Chicago.
A 1979 graduate of Mount Carmel, Ehrenstrom has been teaching at the school for 29 years. He teaches a variety of science courses, including Advanced Placement physics, and is the head coach of the sophomore football and varsity water polo teams.
“Mr. Ehrenstrom is extremely deserving of this honor,” said the Rev. Tony Mazurkiewicz, O.Carm., president of Mount Carmel. “His selfless dedication to his students is evident in the time, creativity, and thought he puts into making the classroom experience an exciting and productive one for his students.”
“When you walk by his classroom you see an engaged group of young men eager to learn,” noted John Stimler, principal of Mount Carmel. “[Ehrenstrom] brings great passion and energy to his teaching. His enthusiasm is contagious to his students.”
Since 1986, Golden Apple has recognized outstanding teachers throughout Illinois each year. Created by founders Mike and Pat Koldyke, The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize and honor outstanding teachers for their role in building a stronger, better-educated society.
President and CEO of Golden Apple Dominic Belmonte praised this year’s finalists, “The tenacity and passion that these teachers possess for their classrooms, schools and communities are inspiring. They represent the epitome of excellence in education. We are proud to have them represent Golden Apple’s mission to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois.”
Golden Apple’s selection committee is comprised of prominent retired teachers, college and university professors, administrators and former Golden Apple Award recipients. Committee members implement industry and research based professional standards in their selection process.
Ehrenstrom and the 31 other finalists will participate in a final round of review and observations prior to the announcement of the 10 recipients in May.
“We look forward to welcoming the selection committee to our campus as they proceed with the final phase of the decision process,” Mazurkiewicz said. “Our community is extremely proud of [Ehrenstrom]. We are grateful for the many gifts he shares at Mount Carmel each day.”