Three outstanding COE alumni named 2024 Golden Apple Award winners

Gold Apple Award Logo

The Greater Lafayette Commerce recognized five outstanding teachers in the Greater Lafayette area with its annual Golden Apple Award – and three of them are Purdue University College of Education alumni.

The 37th annual award ceremony (Feb. 27) recognized these teachers for their passion and excellence in serving young minds of the community.

The three Boilermaker Educators to receive this year’s Golden Apple Awards are:

Sarah Emerson (BA Science Administration, 2013), second/third grade high ability teacher at Dayton Elementary School in Dayton, Indiana.

“I try to make the classroom a fun place to be and a really engaging, motivating place to be,” Emerson said. “Thanks to Purdue for providing me with the best education money can buy.”

William (Bill) Huston (BS Geology/Teaching, 1983; MS Earth Science Education, 1990), science teacher and planetarium director at Lafayette Jefferson High School.

“For an up-and-coming teacher, you’re new to it, you want to lean heavily on your new colleagues,” Huston advised.

Macy (Smith) Shanklin (BA Education Administration, 2013), a fourth grade teacher at Edgelea Elementary School in Lafayette, Indiana.

“I see the power in letting kids discover more of their own learning and me stepping back more and not just delivering or spoon-feeding stuff,” Shanklin said. “I see how much more powerful it is and meaningful and how much more it sticks in kids’ brains if they’re the ones doing the discovery.”

The College of Education is a major sponsor of this annual event. A special thanks to Dr. Dorothy Reed, assistant dean emerita of the College of Education, for her many years of service representing the College on the Golden Apple Awards selection committee. This year Tara Star Johnson, associate dean for Learning, presented the Golden Apple Award to alumnus William Huston.

“At Purdue’s College of Education, we take immense pride when alumni go on to teach here in the Greater Lafayette community,” said Johnson.

Congratulations to our amazing alumni awardees!

Source: Tara Star Johnson,

2023 Golden Apple Award winners:

2022 Golden Apple Award winners: