Eric Mazurkewitz is presented with his check after being informed that he will be a 2016 Golden Apple recipient. (Submitted photo/ Mary Kay of Charlie McDonald Photography)
In his fourth year teaching Biology to Immokalee students, Mr. Mazurkewitz has a heart for teaching and for science. When he learned he was chosen as a Teacher of Distinction this year, he commented, “We need great teachers - especially in science.” It appears that Mr. Mazurkewitz is fulfilling his own vision. A native New Yorker, Mr. Mazurkewitz and his wife, also a teacher, came to Collier County to work in education. He was steered toward Immokalee and has never looked back. Although coming to Immokalee was a major change for him, he feels that this is where his calling is most beneficial. Teaching biology to Immokalee students has been a challenge. After a disappointing first year, he said he went to work, redefining his teaching technique and began using video technology to inspire kids and enhance their learning. It has made the difference and made him a Golden Apple teacher. Other Golden Apple teachers were: Nancy Garousi, Tommie Barfield Elementary, Jenny Godley, Naples High School, McKenzie Morton, Naples High School and Bruce Peters, Lorenzo Walker Technical College. Representatives from Marco 5 Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, Champions For Learning board members, sponsors and volunteers to present the awards to the teachers in their classrooms countywide. Golden Apple teachers each receive a $5,000 grant from the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation for the classroom and an additional $500 award from the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation. All Teachers of Distinction - which include Lake Trafford Elementary School first grade teacher Sabrina Kovacs - receive a $500 award, and the Golden Apple recipients receive an additional $500 award thanks to the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation. The Golden Apple dinner will be held April 1, presented by Suncoast Credit Union Foundation at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. Othe sponsors include: Adams Food, Inc./McDonald’s, Arthrex, CenturyLink, the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation, Moorings Park, Naples Daily News, NBC-2.
On February 18, Immokalee High School’s Eric Mazurkewitz got the surprise of his career when visitors bearing a Golden Apple entered his classroom. That’s when he learned he was one of five Collier County Golden Apple teachers for this year.