Crystal Apple Awards

The Crystal Apple Awards are an annual celebration that seeks to recognize public school educators who have made a positive impact on the lives of their students. The program is sponsored by community service groups, businesses, and other organizations that want to recognize and show their appreciation and support for the thousands of outstanding teachers across our region.

Program Goals:

  • Recognize and reward excellence in education in public schools.
  • Encourage creative and quality instruction.
  • Encourage the development of a positive learning environment.
  • Encourage excellent teachers to remain in education.
  • Provide incentive for individual initiative on the part of educators.
  • Contribute to the improvement of education in the area's nine public school districts.

Award History:

Originally established in 1999 as the Tri-City Crystal Apple Awards, the program sought to honor the Mid-Columbia education profession as a whole by identifying a few of the many wonderful classroom teachers in seven public school districts. The 501 (c)(3) non-profit, the Dream Builder's Educational Foundation, has managed the award program since 2010.  In 2017, two awards were expanded to include two more school districts, and the Crystal Apple Awards now recognize teachers from these nine public school districts:

  • Columbia
  • Finley
  • Kennewick
  • Kiona-Benton
  • North Franklin
  • Othello
  • Pasco
  • Prosser
  • Richland

Application Process:

Each district gathers nominations and puts forth one winner (or team of up to 4 winners). (Contact your local school district to learn more about their internal process to determine the district's Crystal Apple winner.)  Each Crystal Apple winner is also submitted as a nominee to the Washington State Teacher of the Year program. In addition, one community leader is surprised with a recognition as the Special Achievement Award winner for his/her contributions to the education community.

What Do Winners Receive?

Superintendents from the nine districts present their winners with $1,000 checks, certificates, beautiful glass “crystal apples,” and numerous other gifts provided by area businesses.

How Can I Get Involved?

The Crystal Apple Awards are only possible through the support of generous community sponsors. If you would like to learn more about the Crystal Apple Awards or how you can get involved, contact Communication & Graphics Coordinator, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or

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