PHOTOS Profile: Collier Golden Apple winner says nation needs to invest in education, children

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of six profiles that will highlight the 2010 Collier County Golden Apple teachers. There will be one profile per week leading up to the Golden Apple banquet on May 4. Today: Jean Rudiger Lorenz

Teachers receive Golden Apple Awards

Golden Apple Teachers celebrate Awards

Four teachers receive their Golden Apple awards ...

Golden Apple teacher: Jean Rudiger Lorenz (I usually go by Jean R. Lorenz, formally. My students call me Mrs. Lorenz).

Age: 53

Current position: Naples High School exceptional student education career and technical education for the CoStep program.

Family: William D. Lorenz Jr., husband of 33-and-a-half years. My husband works for Collier County government in the Community Development and Environmental Services Division; daughter Cassandra L. Oborne; son Jonathan M. Lorenz; son-in-law R. Brandon Oborne; mother Audrey J. Rudiger; grandson Keagan Thomas Oborne; and my soon to be born granddaughter, Rowan Ava Oborne. She’s due to be born on May 2, which is two days before the Golden Apple ceremony at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts.

My son is a student at the University of Central Florida. My daughter is a high school teacher in Clay County and my son is studying to be a teacher. He will graduate next spring.

Experience: I have been a teacher since 1978. I taught for four years in Virginia and I’ve been a teacher in the Collier County school district for 21 years.

I’ve been working with the CoStep program in Collier County since I was hired to work here in 1989. I’ve taught at four of the district’s high schools. I’ve been full time at Naples High since 2000-01.

Education: I got my bachelor’s of science in education from Virginia Tech in 1978. I’ve taken courses from various post-secondary institutions to learn more about my craft, but I’ve never felt the need to get another degree. I take coursework that will directly help me with the work that I do.

Hometown: I just say I am from Virginia. I lived there for the first 28 years of my life, but I lived in three different locations: Northern Virginia, Blacksburg and the Shenandoah Valley.

How long have you lived in Naples?: We moved to Naples in 1985, for my husband’s job.

Who will be introducing you at the Golden Apple Awards?: My current student, Lisa Clark.

Question. What is my teaching philosophy or style?

Answer. It is my firm belief that everyone has something to offer and contribute. It is my job as a teacher to help my students find what they can contribute and, thus, reach their fullest potential. Frequently, this requires that I develop a relationship with my students based upon encouragement and, believe it or not, unconditional love.

Q. It has been said that the Golden Apple Award gives teachers a public platform to discuss their profession. What would you like the public to know about your profession?

A. I think that our future depends upon the success of our children and that as a nation we should effectively invest the majority of our resources in them. It is sad that so frequently, education is the first to be cut in any economic downturn.

Q. What does receiving this award mean to you?

A. I am very honored and touched. It makes me very proud to show off my students’ achievement and contributions within the world of work and I love being given the opportunity to showcase them. The Golden Apple has given me that ability.

Q. Has receiving this award changed you or the way you view your profession?

A. It just reminded me of what I have always known, that teaching is a noble and honorable profession. It is good to know that by and large most people understand that as well.

Q. Who is your role model or mentor?

A. I have had many, but to be honest, while my parents laid the moral foundation in my life, my husband is probably the finest man I’ve ever known. He has always been the example I’ve measured everything else against.

* * * * *

What Principal Nancy Graham had to say about Jean Rudiger Lorenz:

“Jean just does her job. She focuses on her children and getting them ready for the working world. She’s the most committed educator I have ever worked with and I have been at this a long time.”

Graham said Lorenz has been able to make her classroom successful because of her love for her students. But also, she said, the program has been successful in part because of the relationships that Lorenz has built with local businesses.

“You can’t underestimate her determination. It is nice when a teacher who is not in the mainstream can be recognized. I think that is what the Golden Apple program is all about.”

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