12 Teachers Named Semi-Finalists for Crystal Apple Award

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Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce

The Crystal Apple Committee of the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the semi-finalists for this year’s Crystal Apple Teacher Recognition program. This is the 25th year of the program honoring the finest educators in Finney County. The Crystal Apple Committee is made up of representatives from the business community who look to honor outstanding teachers for their exceptional efforts in education. This year the Chamber received 158 teacher nominations from the community.

The 2020 semi-finalists are: A’Lana Bates-Aronson, Horace Good Middle School; Kelly Butcher, Garden City High School; Debra Chappel, Alta Brown Elementary School; Dianna Deniston, Jennie Wilson Elementary; Yuriy Drubinskiy, Garden City High School; Amy Harris, Kenneth Henderson Middle School; Melissa Hensley, Garden City High School; Alice Hilt, Garden City High School; Biju Kalarikkal, Garden City High School; Kathryn Ochampaugh, Charles Stones Intermediate Center; Jane Schneider, Garden City High School; and Lyle Sobba, Garden City High School.

In September, the Crystal Apple Committee will narrow the 12 semi-finalists down to six finalists in the individual teacher interviews. The six finalists will then be observed by four additional Crystal Apple committee members in their classroom at times unknown to each of the teachers.

 The top three of the six finalists will be named as the 2020 Crystal Apple Teachers of Finney County and will receive an engraved crystal apple, $1,000 cash award and an iPad courtesy of COX Communications. The three finalists will be presented with a cash award of $250. 

The Crystal Apple Awards banquet is planned for Thursday, November 19th at the Clarion Inn. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the Chamber may host the awards virtually. Those details will be released no later than October 15th.

The Crystal Apple Program is supported by community members and businesses throughout Finney County. The 2020 Crystal Apple Awards sponsors are: Presenting Sponsor – Bors Law, P.A.; Media Sponsor – COX Communications; Gold Sponsors – Black Hills Energy, Commerce Bank, Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fry Eye Associates, Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Silver Sponsor – The Garden City Telegram; Bronze Sponsor – Reeve Cattle Company; Crystal Sponsors – American State Bank and Trust Company, Golden Plains Credit Union, and Hutton; Crystal Sponsors – Garden City Public Schools Foundation, Gibson, Mancini, Carmichael and Nelson and Lewis, Hooper & Dick; Friend of Education Sponsor – Linenberger Jewelery