• Crystal Apple

    Crystal Apple Awards

    Crystal Apple "Excellence in Education" Awards are regional awards given to certified employees in local districts. The awards are coordinated by Education Service District 123 and sponsored by hundreds of local businesses, organizations, and individuals committed to recognizing outstanding instructional leadership. In addition to a bounty of donated gifts and a crystal apple award, recipients are presented with $1,000 to use towards anything they wish. The Crystal Apple Awards are presented in March by area superintendents.


  • 2023 Nominations Now Open

    Program Goals

    • Reward excellence in education
    • 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 our area public school districts
    • Encourage nominees to pursue the statewide and national Teacher of the Year program.

    Selection Criteria

    A. Nominees must be certificated employees who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in education. Teams of no more than 4 teachers may be nominated as well, however, individual nominations are encouraged.

    B. Nominations should reflect the following:

    1. The nominee's primary focus is the student.
    2. Enthusiasm and versatility in dealing with the individual needs of students and the ability to reach students in ways that contribute to their increased knowledge, talents, and self-esteem.
    3. Creative use of resources and curriculum.
    4. Special attention is given to preparation and development of a constructive learning environment.
    5. Outstanding peer relationships (is a team builder).
    6. The ability to develop parental support and respect.
    7. The ability to inspire students to appreciate and seek learning in order to attain their maximum potential in life.

    C. Knowledge of subject: Nominees must demonstrate dedication to professional growth; have a thorough knowledge of their subject matter, the ability to share that knowledge effectively with students; and a willingness to share their expertise with other education professionals. 


    Nominees must be professional, certificated classroom teachers or teams of teachers currently teaching. All nominees must work in one of the following public school districts: Columbia (Burbank), Finley, Kennewick, Kiona-Benton, North Franklin, Othello, Pasco, Prosser, or Richland.


    Submit a nomination to Public Affairs by Friday, December 2 using the electronic form below. District Administration will choose the winner by Friday, December 9.

  • 2022 Pasco School District Crystal Apple Winner

    Maria Nunez Crystal Apple Winner

    Maria Nuñez
    Spanish Teacher, Pasco High School

    Pasco School District (PSD) is pleased to announce Maria Nuñez, Pasco High School World Languages Spanish teacher, is this year’s Crystal Apple Award winner. 

    Michelle Whitney, Superintendent, co-workers, and family members surprised Mrs. Nuñez with the news, flowers, and a $500 check from our community partner, Gesa Credit Union.

    Several people nominated Mrs. Nuñez for the Crystal Apple Award, and all the nominations voiced a similar theme. She advocates student success, is kind while setting high expectations, and is passionate about teaching. Maria serves as an advocate for underprivileged students and teaches them how to be proud and stand up for their culture and heritage. In addition, she is known for giving reminders to students who speak English as a second language that they are not less intelligent or less worthy.

    Our District and community truly appreciate the investment you have made in the success of all students. You do whatever it takes to make a difference in the lives of students. The District is proud of your work and your leadership.