New RSO brings together future teachers

Luis Martinez, Administration Editor

The Golden Apple Scholars is a new registered student organization started this spring semester to develop members into better teachers.

Nathan Gayheart, the vice president of the organization, said the RSO also wants to help raise funds for the Golden Apple organization.

“The purpose of our organization is to educate future teachers and raise funds for our non-profit organization,” Gayheart said. “We offer amazing opportunities to people who want to be teachers.”

Gayheart said being a Golden Apple Scholar is a great thing to put on a resume, and the group offers scholarships and summer institute opportunities.

“The only catch is you have to teach, something teaching majors were going to do anyway,” he said.

Golene Thrush, the secretary of the organization, is a 2013 Golden Apple Scholar and said the program is an amazing experience.

“We get a first-hand experience teaching in classrooms,” Thrush said. “It makes us more comfortable in teaching in the classroom.”

Thrush also said the fact that she has experienced such a diverse teaching experience has benefitted her in the classroom.

“The fact that I got more experience in diversity, it has really helped me grow as a teacher,” Thrush said.

Thrush said the new RSO is a good way to help promote Golden Apple to education majors.

“Not a lot of education major have heard about Golden Apple, and they wish they had sooner,” Thrush said. “It is a great way in order to help promote Golden Apple.”

The RSO is based on the Golden Apple Scholars program, a scholarship program aimed at high school seniors and first- and second- year college students who want to teach in high-need schools.

High-needs schools are designated by the program’s website as meeting one of two criteria: schools where 30 percent or more of students are on free or reduced lunch, or schools whose state test results show 60 percent of students or less failed to meet state standards.

According to the program’s website, students who are accepted into the program must teach at least five years at schools of need within seven years of receiving their bachelor’s degree.

Gayheart said the RSO was created this spring semester, and the main reason was because of Ellie Short, the current president of the organization.

“She has a lot of passion for our organization and wanted us to get organized and finally do something,” Gayheart said.

Gayheart also said the long term goal of the Golden Apple Scholars organization is to educate pre-service teachers about the opportunities provided by Golden Apple.

“The benefit of our organization for Eastern students is that we provide information on Golden Apple,” Gayheart said. “We are people who experienced what the organization is about and we want to spread the word.”

The Golden Apple Scholars at Eastern Illinois University meet at 8 p.m. Tuesdays in Room 2442 of Buzzard Hall.


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]