CHS PTA plays strong role in promoting ‘Apple’ candidates

       The selection of Doug Hugill for a 2011 Crystal Apple award marks the third straight year a Coronado High teacher has won the teaching excellence award. Outside judges make the choices, typically picking no more than five from all of District 11 (this year six).
       Hugill's Crystal Apple predecessors at Coronado were Alan Combs in 2009 and Brent Urban in 2010.
       Before '09, according to Amy Seeman of the Coronado PTA, it had been about 10 years since a teacher from the Westside high school had been selected. It wasn't a lack of good teachers, she said; it was that no person or group had done the work necessary to nominate anyone (the contest rules allow one nominee per year from each school).
       So in the 2008-09 school year the PTA formed a Crystal Apple Committee, of which Seeman is currently co-chair. The group has developed a system in which its members begin talking to elements of the school community (staff as well as students) in the fall, seeking possible choices.
       “The committee brings the Coronado teacher nominees to a meeting with the principal to decide what teacher will be nominated,” Seeman explains in an e-mail. “We have always announced the teacher's nomination prior to winter break so that the teacher can compile a list of persons for us to contact on their behalf.”
       Committee members then ask each of those people to to write a letter on the candidate's behalf. They also work with the nominee on preparing a resume and answering the contest's six questions pertaining to his/her teaching goals/ strategies and then prepare a “book” that presents the collected information with related photos (many of which are taken by the Crystal Apple Committee).
       “We see this as a celebration of excellence in teaching and also a way to highlight our school,” Seeman's e-mail adds. “We see it as a true work of appreciation to a teacher that goes above and beyond each and every day to ensure our children are learning academics along with life lessons, and becoming better people for having known these exceptional people we choose to honor.”
       As for Hugill, he is “one of the brightest stars shining on the Coronado campus,” according to Seeman. “He's an exceptional teacher and coach, a beloved member of the Coronado family. His classroom is a hub of activity from early morning to late afternoon. He truly cares about his students' success in his classroom and in life. He teaches with passion and his enthusiasm is infectious.”

Westside Pioneer article