SOPHIE WINKLEMAN OF HARRISBURG IS GOLDEN APPLE SCHOLAR
Another graduate of Southeastern Illinois College has been named a Golden Apple Scholar this year. Sophie Winkleman of Harrisburg plans to transfer to Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville this year to major in elementary education, and has been awarded this highly competitive honor.
The Golden Apple Foundation, a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago, invests in future teachers in an effort to assuage the teacher shortage. According to their website, the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program is a teacher preparation and tuition assistance program for students “who have the determination and drive to be highly effective teachers in Illinois schools-of-need.”
“Golden Apple’s mission to correct the teacher shortage crisis is how they are ultimately going to help me achieve my goals,” said Winkleman. “Golden Apple creates opportunities for its future teachers to gain a great deal of experience before they step into their own classrooms. It also offers a support system with both future teachers and veteran teachers alike. After attending a Golden Apple Scholar Institute at SIUC, I know that I will have extensive help and support as I continue in college, and as I become a teacher.”
Winkleman will receive up to $5,000 per year to offset academic costs, as well as a $2,000 stipend for attending the Scholar Institute and completing a summer teaching experience. Additionally, she will receive extensive classroom teaching experience, academic and social-emotional support, job placement assistance, and mentoring from Golden Apple award-winning teaching faculty.
In order to qualify as a Golden Apple Scholar, students must agree to teach on a full-time basis for at least five years at a nonprofit Illinois public, private or parochial preschool or an Illinois public elementary or secondary school considered a school of need.
“Sophie will be a standout educator because she makes learning interesting and fun!” said SIC English and communications instructor Jenny Billman. “She can take a complex idea and express it in accessible, relatable language. Her natural curiosity and empathy are a gift to both students and colleagues. I’m so excited to see what Sophie accomplishes.”
Winkleman graduated with honors from SIC May 14 with her Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees. While at SIC, she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a student worker for the President’s Office and the Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Regional Arts. She plays violin in the worship band at First Baptist Church in Harrisburg and is very involved with the college youth group there. Additionally, she is a part-time floral designer at Petal Pushers in Harrisburg and works at Dairy Queen in Harrisburg.
While at Harrisburg High School, Winkleman was involved in theatre and band, representing the band as drum major during her junior and senior years. She was also student body president her senior year. The daughter of Chris and Laura Winkleman, she is the oldest of five children.
Winkleman is excited to continue her pursuit of a teaching degree, and feels well-prepared for this next step in her education.
“The coursework and instructors at SIC have given me full confidence that I can succeed at a four-year university,” she stated. “I also loved getting to spend time with my family because of my ability to still live at home while attending SIC. It will certainly be bittersweet when I move away next month.”
In addition to the Golden Apple financial assistance, Winkleman also received the Baptist Foundation of Illinois Scholarship, SIUE Cougar Pride Scholarship, and Phi Theta Kappa scholarship.
Fall registration is underway at SIC. Classes begin Aug. 15. To make an appointment with an advisor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 618-252-5400, ext. 4130.