The voice of the student.

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The voice of the student.

The Wave

The voice of the student.

The Wave

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2023-24 Golden Apple Award: Will MIA be a Recipient?

Helena Davis
Marco Island Academy teacher Keith Scalia receives “Teacher of Distinction” award. (Helena Davis)

On November 8th, Marco Island Academy nominated Keith Scalia as a “Teacher of Distinction” for the 2023-24 Golden Apple Award. This recognition allows teachers to demonstrate their best practices in the classroom.

Chairman of the English Department, Scalia teaches 11th grade English, Journalism, AICE Media Studies, and AICE English Language. “When you work with a faculty that gives their all every day, it is quite a humbling experience to be even put in the conversation” Scalia said.

Scalia summarized his best practice as, “The voice of the student,” which happens to be the slogan of the school newspaper, The Wave

He is recognized as an integral part of the foundation of MIA, impacting the lives of students for over eight years. Scalia emphasizes the importance of students being able to express themselves and their knowledge, creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment.

“Students should be at the forefront of learning, our job isn’t to teach them how to think but to think for themselves. That to me is the best practice and something that Mr. Scalia strives for in all of his classes.”

— Principal Melissa Scott

MIA Principal Melissa Scott commented that students “should be at the forefront of learning, our job isn’t to teach them how to think but to think for themselves. That to me is the best practice and something that Mr. Scalia strives for in all of his classes.” 

The award is distributed by Champions for Learning, a volunteer-driven organization established in 1990 whose mission is to spark success “by investing in Collier’s students and educators.”

The process of winning a Golden Apple is an arduous one for Champions for Learning. They send volunteer committees to observe the practices of nominees firsthand. In addition to reading through the paperwork, they hold candidate interviews to further understand what takes place in the classroom on a daily basis. From this, the team designates six Golden Apple recipients within the Collier County Public School District. These are the educators who stand out among others, whose practices foster student success — those who exemplify what the Golden Apple searches for. 

The six Golden Apple winners initially receive $1,000 to support their classrooms, and $1,000 consecutively over the next three years. These funds help educators to further their practice, implement aspects of the Golden Apple Leadership Academy into their classrooms, and continue to change the lives of students. 

In April 2024, at the Golden Apple Celebration Event, nominees and winners will be celebrated alike. The event serves as an opportunity for recipients to share their knowledge with other educators and empower one another. 

“I am looking forward to working together with all of the nominated teachers and sharing innovative and fresh ideas that are critical for student success,” said Scalia.

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About the Contributor
Helena Davis
Helena Davis, Managing Editor
Helena Davis is a senior at Marco Island Academy and the Managing Editor for The Wave. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and being outdoors. She likes to be social and spend time with her friends and family as much as possible. She likes to cook, bake, and read when she’s not out. After graduating from MIA, Helena plans to attend college and pursue a career in business.
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    Sonja GutwerkNov 9, 2023 at 4:42 PM

    Well deserved!!! Congratulations Mr. Scalia!