Foundation E-News and Announcements


Highland Park Community Foundation Honors Scott Shallenbarger with the 2017 Highland Park Golden Apple Award

The Highland Park Community Foundation is proud to announce the Highland Park Golden Apple Award recipient for 2017. This year’s deserving honoree is Scott Shallenbarger, Director of Theater Arts at Highland Park High School.

Mr. Shallenbarger, a 27 year veteran at Highland Park High School, is a beloved teacher who is revered by his current and former students, teachers, parents, and administrators. He embodies the true meaning of an educator as well as human being. As Director of Theater Arts, Scott fosters creativity, radiates positivity, nurtures and inspires courage within his students, builds bonds, and teaches lessons that go far beyond his drama classroom. He is the epitome what it means to be aHighland Park Golden Apple teacher.

“The Highland Park and Highwood community is lucky to have outstanding teachers in our schools. By celebrating and recognizing teachers, we can demonstrate the strength and impact that their excellent teaching has on our children. This year’s Highland Park Community Foundation’s Highland Park Golden Apple recipient, Scott Shallenbarger, not only teaches the craft of theater, he also teaches the craft of being a human being,” said Sara Sher, HPCF Golden Apple Selection committee.

As Scott said in his application, “I believe in the alchemy of theatre which can transform lives. This too is sacred to me. And since sacred is defined as ‘dedicated to a (belief) and so deserving veneration,’ I passionately approach my students and the community with the respect they deserve. Doing so, we all benefit from an upward spiral of acceptance, humanitarianism, and recognition f life’s beauty.”

The HPCFHighland Park Golden Apple Selection Committee met this May to determine the 2017 recipient. Mr. Shallenbarger was honored with a $2000 honorarium, a $500 gift card to Apple store, and a “Golden Apple Award.”

In 2010, the Highland Park Community Foundation and a local family foundation initiated an annualHighland Park Golden Apple Award to recognize outstanding teachers in the Highland Park School systems. Nominations are made in a rotating cycle: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. A selection committee comprised of exemplary current and retired educators and administrators and former Golden Apple award recipients, evaluate the extensive application and complete a full day of observation. The final recipient of the award is chosen based on instruction, content knowledge, student and staff interaction, and contribution to school and community.

This year, nominations were accepted for full-time teachers at Highland Park High School who have completed at least four full years of teaching. The committee received many excellent nominations, and after a rigorous and intensive review process, nominations were narrowed to three semi-finalists:

  • Bridget Fahrner (Spanish)
  • Elizabeth Perlman (English)
  • Scott Shallenbarger (drama)

All three of the semi-finalists will be honored publicly at the May 22 District 113 Board meeting. By honoring exceptional educators, the Foundation hopes to demonstrate the strength and importance of excellent teaching in helping young people reach their potential.