Highland Park Community Foundation Presents HPCF Golden Apple Award to Miriam Schuman, Special Education Teacher at Northwood Middle School


The Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022 HPCF Golden Apple Award. This year’s deserving recipient is Miriam Schuman, a special education teacher at Northwood Middle School.

“Miriam is the epitome of what an HPCF Golden Apple teacher should be,” said Betsy Brint, President of the Foundation. “By honoring outstanding educators, the HPCF hopes to demonstrate the strength and importance of teaching excellence in helping young people reach their full potential.”

A collaborative and passionate teacher, Miriam embodies a gentle strength that fosters a calm classroom environment and provides an opportunity for open dialogue between the teacher and her students. As part of a three-person team, she creates seamless lessons and continually motivates her students. It regularly includes technology and other innovative resources to meet their individual needs.

Miriam’s passionate nature and willingness to try new strategies make her a lifelong learner who regularly reflects on her teaching and collaborates with her colleagues to help her students succeed. After learning Korean, Miriam noted that learning a new language gave her a better understanding of what it’s like to take on a challenge. “I can share with my students that I better understand what they are going through in the learning process.”

Miriam is a light in the building whose tireless optimism and deep-rooted work ethic has garnered countless fans within her school community. Her colleagues call her the “magician” because she won’t stop until she finds a learning solution that meets her students’ needs.

She also has other fans. As a member of the HPCF Golden Apple Selection Committee noted, “Miriam provides ongoing guidance and support for change in the lives of her students. For students facing the greatest challenges, she will be the person who will change their path, believe in them, and make them lifelong learners, knowing themselves and trusting their own abilities.” one of her students commented, “She would drive to the moon and come back for us.”


As this year’s winner, Miriam received an honorarium of $2,000, a $500 gift card to the Apple Store, and a golden apple statue.

The HPCF Golden Apple Award is presented annually to teachers in the public school systems of Highland Park. Much like the State of IL Golden Apple program on which it is modeled, a selection committee (consisting of current and retired educators, administrators, and past HPCF Golden Apple recipients) evaluates detailed applications and completes a full day of observation for each semi-finalist. . The final recipient of the award is chosen based on teaching, knowledge of content, interaction between students and staff, and contribution to the school and community.

This year’s nominations have been accepted for full-time Grades 6-8 teachers who have completed at least four full years of teaching. The selection committee received many excellent nominations and, after a rigorous and intensive review process, narrowed down the nominations to three semi-finalists: Margaret Delligatti (Band/Orchestra), Heather Palmer (French) and Miriam Schuman (Education special). These three exemplary educators provide a safe learning environment, go above and beyond what teachers are expected to do in the classroom and in the school community, and have shown innovation and support during the pandemic. All are loved and respected by their colleagues, administrators, parents and, above all, their students. All three were publicly honored at the May 17 District 112 school board meeting.

“Being part of the Golden Apple Selection Committee is humbling,” said Sara Sher, Chair of the HPCF Golden Apple Award Committee. These teachers truly represent the best of the best. District 112 is very lucky.”

To learn more about the Highland Park Community Foundation and its work, please visit: hpcfil.org. For more information, please contact Terri Olian, Executive Director, at [email protected] or 847-433-4100. To donate online, please visit hpcfil.org/donate.


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