Bloom teacher has Golden Apple touch
Bloom High School environmental science teacher Jill Krysinski could not be happier with her inedible apple.
That’s because on Thursday, the 39-year-old Chicago Heights resident became one of 10 teachers in Illinois this year to be honored with a Golden Apple award, a prize given to outstanding teachers.
Golden Apple awardees also receive a $3,000 check and a semesterlong sabbatical to take classes at Northwestern University.
Krysinski, who has taught at Bloom for 10 years, said she plans to use the money to build a deck for her and her husband’s vacation home in Indiana. She also said she wants to study social justice and school funding during her sabbatical next spring due in part to her experience working in a poorer school district.
“I told my husband I’m joining a sorority,” Krysinski said. “It’s spring rush, so you never know.”
Krysinski was teaching her class when she was told about the news. Bloom Township High School District 206 Supt. Lenell Navarre, Bloom Principal Michael Campbell, Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez, media members and others walked into her classroom and made the announcement.
Representatives from the Golden Apple Foundation presented her with a tray of chocolate-dipped apples.
Krysinski will receive her actual Golden Apple award during a ceremony set for October.
Krysinski, the sponsor of the school’s science club for the past decade, said she was nominated by the district coordinator for science, Tino Villafor. She learned last month that she was one of 32 finalists for the award.
Since then, Krysinski said, her “stomach has been in knots.
“Anytime someone opens my classroom door, I’m like, ‘Is it them?’ ” Krysinski said.
When told she was a winner, Krysinski cried.
“I’m just doing my job and I didn’t think I was phenomenal,” she said. “I’m a teacher doing my job and I love it.”