An Oak Park resident is a finalist for the 2020 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Leadership. Tamara Witzl is the principal at Telpochcalli Community Fine Arts School in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. 

The finalists for the prize, considered among the most prestigious in the teaching profession, were announced Jan. 23 and recognized at an event in St. Charles on Feb. 22. The winners of the award will be notified in the spring, when award officials pay surprise visits to their schools. Each winner gets a $10,000 cash award and the opportunity to become a Golden Apple Academy of Educators Fellow, a support organization for current and aspiring teachers. 

“Witzl believes that leadership requires sharing responsibilities and developing trust,” according to a statement announcing Witzl’s Golden Apple finalist status. “She works collaboratively with faculty, engaging in discussion and learning together. She provides the space and support to try new things, writes proposals for grants, mentors student teachers, and shares their passion for learning with students. Her open and shared leadership style demonstrates that she shares the concerns of her school community and welcomes their ideas, which leads to achieving common goals.”


Michael Romain  

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