Excellence, Leadership & Commitment

The Golden Apple Award symbolizes a teacher’s professional excellence, leadership, commitment to Catholic values, and devotion to teaching in Catholic schools.

The Golden Apple Awards Program has been established to honor outstanding individuals who devote their lives to teaching in Catholic Schools. It is our pleasure to announce that the Donahue Family Foundation will again sponsor the 16th Golden Apple Awards Program for our Diocese.

Awardees must be a practicing Catholic, a full time teacher and must have completed a minimum of six full years in the elementary or secondary school at which they currently employed. They must have a Pennsylvania Instructional II certificate and the appropriate catechetical certification. An elementary teacher applicant must be nominated by a teacher, parent, or student and parent. A secondary teacher applicant must be nominated by a student or parent.

Honoring Outstanding Teachers

The Golden Apple Award is given to six teachers and one principal in the Diocese of Harrisburg. The award consists of the following:

  • Cash award of $5,000.00
  • Certificate of Achievement
  • Golden Apple Award

Some background:

  • The Golden Apple Awards are sponsored through the generosity and kindness of the Donahue Family Foundation.
  • Jack and Rhodora Donahue are parents of thirteen children all of whom were educated in Catholic schools.
  • The Donahue’s were eager to express their deep appreciation to Catholic school teachers for providing quality academic and faith filled education for their children.
  • The Donahue’s approached Bishop Donald W. Wuerl, Bishop of Pittsburgh, who immediately embraced the idea of a Golden Apple Award and the first group of teachers in the Diocese of Pittsburgh were honored in 1992.
  • Since that time the Donahue family instituted a program in the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio and in May of 2005 invited the Diocese of Harrisburg to institute the Golden Apple Awards Program.
  • The Donahue Family Foundation, Inc is located in Pittsburgh, PA and a son; William J. Donahue is president of the foundation.

Meet Our Awardees

Sister Danielle Truex, IHM

Sister Danielle Truex, IHM

2021 Golden Apple Award Winner

Sister Danielle Truex, IHM, is the Principal of Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Lancaster

Lisa Minney

Lisa Minney

2021 Golden Apple Award Winner

Lisa Minney is an eighth grade teacher at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Lancaster

Deborah Richard

Deborah Richard

2021 Golden Apple Award Winner

Deborah Richard is a fourth grade teacher at St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus School, New Cumberland

Patricia D’Elia

Patricia D’Elia

2021 Golden Apple Award Winner

Patricia D’Elia is a mathematics at Lancaster Catholic High School in Lancaster

Carolyn Obermeier

Carolyn Obermeier

2021 Golden Apple Award Winner

Carolyn Obermeier, Instructional Support teacher at York Catholic High School in York

Eileen Poplaski

Eileen Poplaski

2021 Golden Apple Award Winner

Eileen Poplaski is a social studies teacher and Vice Principal at Trinity High School in Camp Hill

Melissa Preston

Melissa Preston

2021 Golden Apple Award Winner

Melissa Preston is a third grade teacher at St. Joseph School in York