COLUMBUS - The 2016/2017 Golden Apple nominees have been announced by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. This program recognizes an outstanding teacher in USD 493 district. The awards are issued annually to teachers who demonstrate an outstanding dedication to their profession.

Two awards are given each year: pre-school through sixth grade and seventh through high school and the Coffeyville Community College, Columbus campus. The awards will be presented given during the annual dinner in January.

This year's nominees are: Naomi Goforth, Becky Crystal, Michele White, Dennis Vilela, Tony Battitori, Buddy Derfelt, Luke Henke, Matt Ross, Christine Lovell, Eric Napier and Missy Carnahan.

Three instructors were nominated but didn't meet all the requirements: Mathew Crain, Terra David and Misty Smith.

"We congratulate them for inspiring their students," said Chamber Director Jean Pritchett.

Several others were also nominated but ineligible due to having received the Golden Apple in the past: Krista Vilela, Tracy Clugston, Kathy Easley, Hilary Rieck, Regina Jameson, Ernest Vaughn and Jeff Phillips.

"Thanks to Crossland Construction Co., Commerce Bank and Janet Graham Accounting for stepping forward to sponsor the Golden Apple Award program for an instructor in USD 493 district," Pritchett said.