Local teachers honored with Crystal Apple Awards


Ten teachers, one from each of the represented middle and high schools of the San Dieguito and Rancho Santa Fe school districts, were honored for their excellence in teaching at the 23rd Annual Crystal Apple Awards on May 19.

The Del Mar Stake, a local branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has hosted this event annually at the Del Mar Stake building in Carmel Valley since 1994. The award ceremony, which is open to the public, included San Dieguito Union High School District’s Board President Beth Hergesheimer, San Diego City Council President Sherrie Lightner, Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar, and Superintendent Rick Schmitt, who also was a presenter.

“The Crystal Apple Award is unique from other teaching recognitions” says President Drew Page of the Del Mar Stake explains, “in that the teachers are nominated for the award by their very own students by writing essays describing events or specific situations of teachers that they have witnessed or observed. The rigorous balloting process ends with hundreds of nominations. We love and appreciate our teachers who do so much for our youth and this is a small way to say thank you.”

This year’s recipients include: Cindi Schildhouse of La Costa Canyon High School, John West of San Dieguito High School Academy, Abby Brown of Torrey Pines High School, Anne Whattoff of Canyon Crest Academy, Angela Halpin of Carmel Valley Middle School, Jason Moldovan of Diegueño Middle School, Diane Dekker of Earl Warren Middle School, William Reynolds of Oak Crest Middle School, Kaitlin Hildebrand of Pacific Trails Middle School, and Danika Severino of R. Roger Rowe School (Rancho Santa Fe School District).

Special recognition went to Canyon Crest Academy’s Campus Supervisor Hector Gutierrez and Superintendent Rick Schmitt for their years of service in the district.