Sandy Gonzalez-Hagy: National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescence English/Language Arts (2009 and Renewed in 2019)

Virtual Academy English Teacher Grades 9-12

One of my favorite things about teaching is making the subject matter come to life in fun hands-on ways; the learning experiences I expose my students to are always geared to target all learning modalities in a safe, supportive and cooperative learning environment that values and celebrates each student’s diversity and unique educational needs. The enthusiasm that I bring into the classroom is transferred into my students, who enjoy being a part of our learning community every day. I pride myself in my ability to individualize my teaching methods through differentiation, and my skills in providing interesting, thought-provoking, and varied classroom experiences as we work to empower students and work to build their Reading skills.

I strongly believe in the Virtual Academy’s Mission:

“The Virtual Academy provides students individualized attention in a safe, supportive, and cooperative learning environment that celebrates each student’s diversity and unique educational needs. Our dedicated staff will partner with parents and families to ensure that all students reach their full, unique potential.”


2000 Golden Apple Scholar
B.A., Elementary Education-Northeastern Illinois University
B.A., Bilingual Bicultural Education-Northeastern Illinois University, ESL Endorsement
M.A., School Leadership (Type 75 Endorsement)


7, 8th Grade Reading/ELA Teacher
Stone Scholastic Academy 2009-2021

Stone Scholastic Magnet Academy

I joined Stone Academy in January of 2009. As the completion of my Master’s Degree came near, I participated in a semester long administrative internship at Stone Academy. This experience opened my eyes as to the wonderful learning community, family atmosphere and professionalism of our school and I made it my mission to join Stone Academy’s teaching community.  I joined Stone’s ranks of stellar teachers as one of the 7-8th grade Language Arts Teachers. I then taught Spanish to Kindergarten through 3rd graders.  I then taught 4th grade for one year. For the past several years, I have been teaching 7-8th grade Reading/ELA.

Oriole Park Elementary

I taught at Oriole Park Elementary starting in 2004-2009. Oriole Park is a wonderful school community and I have fond memories of teaching 1st grade there.

Northwestern University Center for Talent Development

I am a part of Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD). Specifically, I teach in the Leapfrog Summer Program. The majority of CTD Summer Program students take classes on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. I am a member of the distinguished faculty selected from premiere schools in the Chicago and Cleveland metropolitan areas. Teachers are chosen for their mastery of subject matter, classroom experience, enthusiasm, ability to individualize their teaching, and skill in providing interesting, thought-provoking, and varied classroom experiences. Each class has a teaching assistant selected from universities across the country. Teaching assistants provide academic support to students both in and out of class.

What is the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program?

Created in 1988 by the award-winning teachers of the Golden Apple Foundation, the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program recruits and prepares a rich ethnic diversity of bright and talented high school graduates for successful teaching careers in schools throughout Illinois. I was amongst the 100 Golden Apple Scholars chosen in the year 2000. The Golden Apple Foundation’s Academy of Educators believes that nothing is more important to education than the interaction between teacher and student. Students need teachers who have similar backgrounds and experiences to serve as role models and give them the hope of a promising future. I am extremely proud to be a part of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois, they have instilled in me the belief that all children deserve excellent teachers.

Golden Apple Associate Board Member:

As a member of the Golden Apple Associate board, my roles and responsibilities are the following:

  • To understand and promote Golden Apple’s mission and programs
  • To become a Golden Apple donor
  • To introduce peers to Golden Apple
  • To contribute to the vision and direction of the Associates Board
  • To participate in Associates Board events and activities

Please consider making a donation to the Golden Apple Foundation. Because all children deserve excellent teachers!

Center for Ongoing Renewal and Enrichment (CORE)

In a never ending odyssey to acquire continued professional development and professional growth in the field of education, I also participate in the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Center for Ongoing Renewal and Enrichment (CORE). CORE provides professional development and personal mentoring for Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois, which is the largest teacher-support program in the nation. Each summer, a four-to-five-day-residence CORE Conference is held at St. Xavier University in Chicago. Golden Apple Scholars like myself and colleagues who have completed their student teaching join classroom-teaching Scholars from across the state to enrich their professional lives as teachers. This is an excellent way for me to help new teachers perfect their craft as teaching professionals.

Current Endeavors

I have a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a degree in Bilingual Bicultural Education.  In 2009, I finished my first Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. Having studied both at Northeastern Illinois University and DePaul University for my two Bachelor’s Degrees and a Master’s Degree has prepared me to be a stellar educator. I currently work with the Golden Apple Foundation as a mentor for new and novice teachers in Illinois. This endeavor enables me to positively impact the new generation of teachers and it is a responsibility I take very seriously.