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Golden Apple Teacher Class of 2023 Announced Alongside School-Related Employee Honors


Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC, Director of Public Relations

352.671.7555 ◊ FAX: 352.671.7735 ◊ CELL: 352.840.3265



Golden Apple Teacher Class of 2023 Announced Alongside

School-Related Employee Honors


Marion County’s 2023 Teacher of the Year Finalists and

Rookie Teacher of the Year Revealed


MARION COUNTY – Six Marion County Public Schools teachers received Golden Apples during surprise classroom visits today, putting each in contention to be named Marion County’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

An entourage of dozens of people that included Marion County School Board and Public Education Foundation Board members including Superintendent Dr. Diane Gullett, district leaders, and community residents, traveled a 93-mile route to surprise all five finalists and Golden Apple Recipients. The group also handed out surprise honors for Rookie Teacher of the Year (who also received a Golden Apple), School-Related Employee of the Year, and Above and Beyond winner.

The latest class of Golden Apple teachers includes:

  • Nedra Huggins – Belleview Middle School

Huggins teaches Introduction to Health Sciences to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. She has 20 years of classroom teaching experience including 15 with MCPS.

  • John Gibb – Lake Weir High School

Gibb teaches Pre-International Baccalaureate English to ninth- and 10th grade students. His seven years of experience have all taken place in MCPS classrooms.

  • Jamie Roche – Maplewood Elementary School

Roche is an art teacher who comes into contact with every student on campus throughout the week. Roche’s 23 years of teaching experience have all been with MCPS.

  • Lindsey Bigelow – Ocala Springs Elementary School

Bigelow teaches first grade English Language Arts and has 10 years of teaching experience, all with MCPS.

  • Cheryl Goldner – Saddlewood Elementary School

Goldner teaches math and science to fourth-grade students. She joined the district six years ago and has 29 years of classroom experience.

Golden Apple teachers have at least four years of classroom experience.

The entourage also handed out three additional surprise honors today including:

  • Marion County’s Rookie Teacher of the Year – Jennifer Bachmaier from Hammett L. Bowen Jr. Elementary School. She is an Exceptional Student Education teacher who’s been with MCPS for just one and a half years. She has two and a half years total experience in classroom teaching. Rookie teachers have no more than three years of classroom experience.
  • MCPS School-Related Employee of the Year – Erin Webber, a Guidance Clerk and front desk receptionist at Fort McCoy School who joined the district six years ago.
  • Above and Beyond Award – Mark White, a technical services / school maintenance worker who manages daily responsibilities at his alma mater, Vanguard High School. He joined the district in 2007 and transferred to Vanguard last year.

The five Golden Apple recipients and Rookie Teacher of the Year will participate in the Golden Apple Gala on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at 7 p.m. at the Reilly Arts Center in Ocala. The event airs live on the Marion Education Channel and is livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel (

At the Gala, one of the five finalists will be named Marion County’s 2023 Golden Apple Teacher of the Year and drive away in a new, pre-paid, three-year leased vehicle from Jenkins Auto Group.

            For more information, contact Executive Director Meghan Magamoll with the Public Education Foundation of Marion County at or 352.671.4160.

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