The Daily Northwestern

Evanston teacher wins Golden Apple teaching award

Marissa Page, Assistant City Editor

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A second grade teacher at an Evanston/Skokie School District 65 school won a regional award Wednesday that recognizes teachers who make a difference in the lives of students.

James Schamber, a teacher at Orrington Elementary School, 2636 Orrington Ave., was one of 10 Chicago-area teachers to receive the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was the only one of three finalists selected from Evanston schools that advanced to become a Golden Apple fellow.

Golden Apple, an Illinois nonprofit, cited Schamber’s use of humor to facilitate the learning process as a key factor in him receiving the honor.

“He leverages technology, dancing and singing to create a fun, comfortable and engaging classroom environment,” the foundation said in a news release.

Schamber, who has taught in District 65 for more than eight years, also owns the Oasis Summer Day Camp, which serves children from Winnetka and Highland Park. He holds both a bachelor of arts in psychology and a masters of education from DePaul University.

“(Schamber) says that learning does not stop at the end of the day, and is often found tutoring his students, mentoring students from a previous year, or watching a student’s performance from the audience,” Golden Apple said in the news release.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the award, which grants recipients a $5,000 prize, the opportunity to take a spring sabbatical and study at Northwestern free of charge.

“These teachers are shining examples of the dedication, perseverance, innovation and encouragement that empower students to grow and recognize their abilities to excel in life,” said Dominic Belmonte, president and CEO of Golden Apple, in the news release.

Twitter: @marissahpage