Platinum Apple Awards

Above, the recipients from 2016 are honored at a dinner held at the TAIX Restaurant in Los Angeles.


2017 Platinum Apple Awards

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Platinum Apple Award submissions are now being accepted. The nomination forms are below. If you have any questions or concerns, please email or call 213.487.5560.


2017 Nomination Forms

Deadline to submit to UTLA is Tuesday, February 24, 2017 by 4:30 p.m. at UTLA

2017 Platinum Apple Award Nomination Cover Sheet
View/Print/Save PDF
2017 Platinum Apple Award Nomination Form
View/Print/Save PDF
2017 Platinum Apple Award Nomination Criteria Sheet
View/Print/Save PDF

2016 Award Winners

UTLA Honors Excellence in Education

Some of the most qualified people to judge top-notch teachers are their own colleagues. That’s the concept behind the UTLA Platinum Apple awards given each year by our own, for our own, to recognize professional achievements. Educators are nominated by their colleagues for their achievements such as developing an innovative curriculum or an outstanding educational program or for exhibiting exemplary instructional techniques. The winners are then selected by the UTLA Platinum Apple Committee and honored at the annual awards dinner. Here’s a look at the accomplishments of this year’s winners, who were celebrated at a May 20 dinner with friends, colleagues, and family.

Patricia Alarcon
2nd Street Elementary

“Patricia has encouraged parents to venture and allow their children to go to new places. She has served generations of students.  When you walk into her room you see students who are self-directed, engaged and working cooperatively. Her students know that only their best is acceptable. Her flexible grouping allows her to meet the needs of her students and work at their level.”

—Gloria M. Alhadeff

Chapter Chair


Lorena Beas
Harmony Elementary

“Mrs. Beas has a personal way of connecting with her students and their families in order to establish a climate of trust. Mrs. Lorena Beas prompts and supports student learning by creating centers and classroom activities that engage students’ interest and choices by building a community of learners in an interactive setting.”

—Amaparo Navarro Martin

Chapter Chair


Lisa Boyojian
Normont Elementary

“Mrs. Lisa Boyojian has been a hard-working dedicated teacher for 38 years. Since the beginning of her career and to this day, she has been dedicated to her students, and she made a conscious choice to teach underprivileged children, believing that they like everybody else deserve a very good teacher and education. She is a firm believer that all the modalities of learning need to be discovered and explored. Even P-K and kindergarten students are taught and experience activities and tasks that promote choice personal responsibility and reflection.”

—Sydney Yarbrough-Baune

Chapter Designee


Luisa Chavez
O’Melveny Elementary

“Ms. Chavez is respected by our community and admired by her students. She creates scholars, problem solvers with great critical thinking skills. Ms. Chavez crafts a firm foundation for each of her children despite developmental or language barriers. Her entire career has been dedicated to the Los Angeles Unified School District.”

—Manuel Reyes

Chapter Chair


Jaymie Dean
Kennedy High School

“Ms. Dean works with students with special needs. She has a strong desire to create an integrative campus for all of her students. She has expanded the Peer Buddy Program into a general education elective. No longer are students with disabilities isolated. Because of her commitment to the Peer Buddy Program, students are now fully included on campus. She is also the lead teacher of the Sunshine Club on campus. She is an extremely effective and dedicated teacher.”

—J.J. Turner-McMullen

Chapter Chair


Stephanie Greene
Sun Valley Magnet School

“Besides being an amazing teacher to her students, she is also a great leader and colleague. She is always willing to collaborate with other teachers regardless of content area in order to create and plan the most engaging lessons. Ms. Greene is a passionate teacher who cares deeply for her students and is regularly reflecting and looking for ways to improve her practice and grow personally and professionally.”

Bradley Greer

Chapter Chair


Corlis Lewis
Menlo Avenue Elementary School

“When a child has Mrs. Corlis Lewis as a teacher, they are not only prepared for the next grade, they are prepared for life. The ultimate compliment is when a colleague puts their child in your class, and she’s had loads of colleagues’ kids. Her passion, integrity, and love are growing in students, faculty, and staff who she’s touched through excellent instruction, mentorship, and UTLA Leadership.

—Brian J. Powell

Chapter Chair


Gina Margiotta
Sylvan Park Elementary

“As a teacher for 23 years, Ms. Margiotta consistently researches effective practices and curriculum that meets the needs of her diverse students. As a result, she has created her own CD that includes letter names and sound along with a booklet and distributed these to students. She engages her students with developmentally appropriate and rigorous hands-on activities that are multileveled to target their needs.”

—Joaquin Flores

Chapter Chair


Grace Nimnualrat
San Antonio Elementary

“In the 2003-04 school year, two weeks before her track began, she came in like a desert storm, unpacking and preparing to set up. Walls of books were everywhere, learning centers lined the room, and students’ desks were twisted here, and joined there. There were also cages of snakes, iguanas, and parakeets. Aquariums teeming with amphibians … all of it. Students were reading in small groupings, some feeding animals, others were entranced at centers. The room was an orchestra and Grace the conductor.”

—Scott Golden

Chapter Chair


Graciela Viramontes
Liberty Boulevard Elementary

“Mrs. Viramontes has a natural talent to connect to her students. She gets to know her students personally, and she learns about them in order to create lessons that are relevant to the student. Mrs. Viramontes uses different strategies to make the lessons come alive for her students. She teaches the students to be creative thinkers who are not afraid to take risks. She validates her students and their individuality, and by doing that, she encourages free thinking and problem solving.”

—Steven Watson

Chapter Chair


The Platinum Apple Committee is Martha Bayer (Chair), Juanita Garcia, Shirley Hardley, and Carolina Saucedo. The secretary is Princess Sykes. Thanks to our corporate sponsors for the event: California Casualty and The Standard.