Colleagues and students surprised an Evanston Township High School teacher during class Monday to present him with one of education's most prestigious awards: the Golden Apple.
A nine-year teaching veteran known for his commitment to relationships grounded in trust and respect, Corey Winchester has been a student favorite at Evanston Township since he arrived.
"The biggest thing about Mr. Winchester is that he is always the one to advocate for every student...not just one group or class. Everyone is equal to him," senior Jaden Leverette said.
Winchester was surprised with the announcement Monday morning, when over 30 of his fellow teachers crashed his morning sociology class to present the news.
"Teaching is often not valued as a profession the way it should be and this Golden Apple recognizes the gifts they bring to students that they see everyday, but so many people don't see," said Alan Mather, Golden Apple Foundation.
Winchester and nine other teachers beat out over 500 other candidates to win 2019's top teaching prize in Illinois.
"This Golden Apple is more than just Mr. Winchester getting an award," Winchester said. "This is about my family, my students and peers. This is truly about the community I've been part of that have supported me."