Crystal Apple Awards

The Crystal Apple Awards recognize excellence in education by honoring those making a significant impact in the lives of children. The list of past nominees includes teachers, counselors, instructional assistants, office managers and administrators, all the professionals who help make a difference in our students' lives. The event features a red carpet walk for nominees.

 This year's awards will be held on Thursday, November 2, 2017.

Community Honors 13 Educators with Crystal Apples

Salem, Ore., Nov. 3, 2016 – Thirteen local educators were honored with a 2016 Crystal Apple Award Thursday night during Salem-Keizer’s annual gala celebration of education excellence.

The recipients, including teachers at all levels, education professionals and office personnel were chosen from a list of 47 nominees, and honored before a full house at Salem’s Historic Elsinore Theatre.

This was the 20th annual Crystal Apple Awards ceremony. The event recognizes local educators who provide students with educational options, go beyond their regular job duties to benefit students, and demonstrate best practices. Nominations come from community members, students and parents.

“It is an honor to continue the tradition of celebrating education in this community. The teaching professionals we have in our district are truly worthy of this grand celebration,” said Brent Neilsen, President of the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation.

The Crystal Apple Awards were presented by Neilsen, Salem-Keizer Schools Superintendent Christy Perry, Scott White, President of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, and Jim Bauer, President of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.

The seventh annual Crystal Apple Business partner award recipient was Roth’s Fresh Markets. Tim Jennings, general manager, accepted the award on Roth’s behalf.

Jennings stated, “We do not take this award lightly. We believe strongly in engaging and making an impact within the community. Orville taught us that it is important to value this community’s students and the school district.”

Tom Hewitt, retired Judson Middle School drama teacher and local actor and comedian, again served as emcee for the event. “This event is truly about honoring outstanding teaching professionals who touch the lives of children in support of their academic success. Our entire community appreciates the time, resources and energy needed to provide an exceptional education for every child, every day,” Hewitt stated.

Arriving nominees were treated to a red carpet walk broadcasted live inside the theater, hosted by Ron Jaecks and Kelli Swanson Jaecks, as well as live music from the Flextones.

In 1996, Salem Chamber business representatives teamed with local educators to begin the Crystal Apples as a way to encourage and recognize education excellence in Salem-Keizer schools.

Presented by the Salem–Keizer Education Foundation in collaboration with the Salem-Keizer School District and the Salem Area and Keizer Chambers of Commerce, the Awards celebrate and recognize those teachers, administrators and support staff who exceed all expectations of their profession and who engage community in their work. Since its inception, the Crystal Apple Awards has been replicated in communities throughout the United States.

2016 Crystal Apple Honorees:

Aimee Leaton

Language Arts Teacher

Stephens Middle School

Eric Bradfield

Application Developer


Jolie Gilman


West Salem High School

Kim Siegrist


Four Corners Elementary

Michelle Mills


Gubser Elementary

Joseph Dull


McNary High School

Marianne Silvestre

Instructional Coach/ELA

Roberts Early College High School

Dinah Walsh

Office Manager

Career and Technical Education Center

Tricia Nelson


Waldo Middle School

Jason Kline

4th/5th Grade Teacher

Eagle Charter School

Monique Aguilar-Weaver

Spanish Teacher

North Salem High School

Christina Pierce

Family and Consumer Science Teacher

Waldo Middle School

Leslie Van Meter

Social Studies Teacher

Teen Parent Program

2017 Crystal Apple Awards

  • Where:
    Awards will be held at the Historic Elsinore Theatre
  • When:
    November 2, 2017