Skip To Main Content

Community Honors 12 Educators With 2024 Crystal Apple Awards

Crystal Apple honorees on stage hold up their awards and smile along with Superintendent Casta├▒eda.

The 25th Annual Crystal Apple Awards honors excellence in education across the cities of Salem and Keizer.

Twelve local educators were honored with Crystal Apple Awards on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, during the 25th annual celebration of excellence in education. 

Presented by the McLaran Leadership Foundation and the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, the 2024 awards honored 97 nominees from the cities of Salem and Keizer for their dedication to area students. The event was held at the Salem Convention Center and featured dinner, musical entertainment and emcee Tom Hoffert.

On behalf of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the McLaran Leadership Foundation, we were honored to host this key celebration of excellence in education to the communities of Salem and Keizer. As witnessed by the 97 nominations, we have incredible leaders across all facets of public and private school education. We could not be more excited to celebrate all of the nominees this evening! Without the support of the invested local businesses who wish to see continued student success and achievement, this event would not have been possible. We are in gratitude to Mt. West Center for Community Excellence, Maps Credit Union, the Epping Family Trust, and each of our supporting sponsors who created the financial infrastructure for tonight’s successful celebration of education and leadership.

Tom Hoffert 
Chief Executive Officer of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

The Crystal Apple Awards celebrate and recognize teachers, administrators and support staff who exceed all expectations of their profession, inspiring students and engaging the community in their work.

This year we have seen time and time again the outpouring of support for the incredible educators in our community. This year’s event broke records with nearly 100 educators being nominated. That is still only a small representation of all of the impactful teachers, support staff, administrators and other members of our Salem-Keizer team who make a positive difference in the lives of young people in our community. I am honored to celebrate our SKPS educators at the 25th annual Crystal Apple Awards.

Andrea Castañeda
Superintendent, Salem-Keizer Public Schools

The 2024 Crystal Apple Awards Honorees

  • Amanda Starkey, Teacher - North Salem High School
  • Christopher Feskens, Teacher - McKay High School
  • Gabriela Acevedo-Solis, Teacher - Waldo Middle School
  • Keelana Meyer, CTE Liaison - South Salem High School
  • Ken Ramirez, Security Field Coordinator - Safety and Risk Management Services
  • Kellie Menghini, Teacher - McKay High School
  • Lisa Olson, Library Media Instructional Assistant - Chapman Hill Elementary
  • Luis Oliva Barrientos, Bilingual Special Education Instructional Assistant - Chavez Elementary School
  • Max Price, Teacher - South Salem High School
  • Pat Ozenna-Lemay, Teacher - Cummings Elementary
  • Rubi Hovenden, Program Associate - Curriculum and Instruction
  • Shayla Brown, Counselor - Blanchet Catholic School

Go To A Video On CC:Media's Website Of The Crystal Apple Awards 2024

Thank You Event Sponsors

The 25th Annual Crystal Apple Awards were made possible thanks to the support of our event sponsors Mt. West Investment Corporation, Maps Credit Union, the Epping Family Trust, Western Oregon University, Capitol Auto Group, Anderson Shirley Architects and each of the supporting sponsors, Allied Video Productions, Architecture Community, AKS Engineering and Forestry, Barbis Bently Architects, BRIC Architecture, CBTWO Architects, Collier Law, Corona University, Garrett Hemann Robertson, Heltzel Williams, MSC Engineers, Neighborly Ventures, Pence Contractors, Saalfeld Griggs, Sodexo and Willamette Valley Dyslexia Center.

Additional donations towards the event were also provided by the Association of Salem Keizer Education Support Professionals and the Salem Keizer Education Association.