The Rapidian

Liesha Crawford Receives WMU’s Golden Apple Award

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Liesha Crawford receives a prestigous award from WMU. The award ceremony will be held on October 27.
Liesha Crawford, winner of the Golden Apple Award

Liesha Crawford, winner of the Golden Apple Award /GRPS

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Learn More About the Golden Apple

To learn more about the Golden Apple Award at WMU and to see past winners, visit

The Golden Apple Award is given to an outstanding individual who attended or graduated from Western Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Development.  Liesha Crawford, a special education teacher at Alger Middle School, was one of four individuals selected for this year’s award.  These four were selected by their peers as being an excellent representative of commitment in education.  Crawford is the only Grand Rapids Public School teacher currently working to receive the award this year.

“The kids all know they are loved in her classroom,” said Cindy Slate, parent of a former student of Alger Middle School.  “She knows how to talk to the kids.”

There are four criteria for a teacher to get nominated for a Golden Apple Award:

  • Alumnus/a of Western Michigan University
  • Demonstrates enthusiasm for teaching and the learning process
  • Has a distinguished record of applying and widely sharing professional expertise
  • Has had a positive impact on students and/or the educational process through high standards, professional integrity and commitment to learner-centered education

Crawford received an eligibility letter from WMU Alumni Association in June of 2010.  She then shared it with her colleagues and Slate.  Slate spear-headed the nomination with an anecdotal nomination essay, and Crawford’s colleague/team teacher Ann Post wrote a secondary professional recommendation. 

In July 2011, Crawford received a phone call informing her that she won the award.  “I have received so many congratulatory letters from Western Michigan that it made me realize it was a really big deal,” said Crawford.  “It wasn’t until I received a letter from Dr. Taylor (Superintendent of GRPS) congratulating me that I realized how many people knew about me getting this award.”

On Thursday, October 27, at 6 p.m., Crawford officially received her award at the WMU College of Education ceremony at Fetzer Center.  Slate spoke about the impact Crawford has made on her and her son .  “My son wouldn’t have succeeded in the classroom without her help,” said Slate.

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