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CHARLESTON -- Belinda Hill, who earned her master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Eastern Illinois University, has been named a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership.

The honor recognizes her work as superintendent/principal of Giant City Community Consolidated School District 130 in Carbondale.

Golden Apple is an Illinois nonprofit dedicated to recognizing exemplary educators and developing future educators. The Award for Excellence in Leadership honors exemplary performance in school leadership by a principal or head of school who has had a significant and sustained positive impact on the school, created a culture of inclusivity, and delivered dramatic student growth.

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Leadership Award recipients are selected by master educators and school leaders who understand and recognize balanced and collaborative leadership and who utilize professional standards to assess the culture, innovation, and outcomes achieved by exemplary school leaders. Members of the selection committee are previous Award recipients, district and university leaders who will conduct on-site observations and interviews, other administrators, and teachers, as well as those they serve, including students, parents, and community members.

The selected award recipients will be featured on a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) one-hour TV program. The livestream of the show taping will air on Golden Apple’s Facebook page on May 18 and the edited PBS broadcast will air on multiple future dates.

The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership recipient receives a cash award of $10,000, with $5,000 going toward the leader’s professional development and $5,000 to the school for a project of the recipient’s choosing. Award recipients also become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who support current and future teachers and deepen the learning of students. An important part of a Fellows’ mission is to share their expertise and mentor Golden Apple Scholars, who are aspiring teachers with a desire to teach in Illinois’ schools-of-need.

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