Crystal Apple Awards

Mark Your Calendars for Thursday, March 7 at 4:30 PM!

The 26th Annual Crystal Apple Award ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, March 7, 2024 beginning at 4:30 PM in the Cascade Conference Rooms at ESD 123. The ceremony is open to the public and will recognize outstanding educators from these nine area school districts: Columbia Burbank, Finley, Kennewick, Kiona-Benton, North Franklin, Othello, Pasco, Prosser, and Richland. For questions or more information, please contact ESD 123 Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at [email protected].

The Crystal Apple Awards are an annual celebration taking place in March 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 Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or [email protected].

The Crystal Apple Awards are only possible through the support of generous community sponsors. Thanks to the many community leaders and education supporters throughout the Tri-Cities and surrounding communities, we are able to recognize the outstanding teachers making a difference each day in the lives of our students.

2023 Crystal Apple Award Sponsors

Platinum Level Sponsors ($600+)

Bechtel National Inc, Central Plateau Cleanup Company, Columbia Valley Daybreak Rotary, CO Energy, Evergreen Associates, Gesa Credit Union, Pasco Kennewick Rotary Charitable Trust, Sodexo, STCU, Stevens Clay, Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary Club, and Washington River Protection Solutions.

Bechtel logo  Rotary international logo

Columbia Valley Daybreak Rotary

 Central Plateau Cleanup Company logo
    Evergreen Associates logo
Evergreen Associates
 Gesa Credit Union logo Pasco Kennewick rotary logo 
  Sodexo logo  STCU Credit Union logo Stevens Clay lawyer logo
CO Energy logo Rotary international logo
Tri-Cities Sunrise
Rotary Club
Washington river protection solutions logo 


Gold Level Sponsors ($401-$599) 

Columbia Basin Health Association, Community First Bank, Kiwanis Club of Pasco, Lampson International, and WEA Southeast.

Columbia Basin Health Association logo  Community First Bank logo   Kiwanis club of pasco logo

Columbia Basin Health Association

 Lampson international logo WEA logo 

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