TALB Golden Apple Award Recipients 2015-16

Congratulations to this year's TALB Golden Apple Award Recipients! The Golden Apple Award recognizes a K-12 TALB member that has earned the respect and admiration of his or her colleagues.

Scroll down to read about all 5 of this year's recipients.

Anselmo Feliciano
Smith Elementary
15 years in LBUSD

“A natural born teacher who loves and adores his students and they love him.” What a wonderful entrance into the world of education to have Anselmo Feliciano as your teacher. Twenty-eight years of students, 16 in Long Beach, have had Anselmo as their teacher. An advocate for life-long learning, he sets an example for his students and colleagues alike by learning sign language, music, and maintaining his involvement in various fitness activities, as well as advocating for teachers by serving them in various positions in the Teacher’s Association of Long Beach.

Anselmo is the ultimate teammate. His grade level partners appreciate his support, collaboration, and years of experience in the workings of the kinder world and the need for balance in curriculum to educate the whole child. He understands that students need to learn to love reading and he promotes that with Read Across America, appearing as Cat in the Hat. A grant that he wrote garnered a new computer for each Kindergarten classroom at his school. Serving on the ILT team, he is active in providing professional development that serves his colleagues and visitors that come for observations. Anselmo supports his school by attending performances after school, in the evening, or Smith’s Education Celebration booth.

Not daunted by his “tiny car,” Anselmo and his twenty chess club members take city buses to tournaments held at various LBUSD schools. The members learn the discipline and logic of the game as well as good sportsmanship at the meetings held once or twice a week under Anselmo’s leadership for the last five years.          

Anselmo has been active in TALB since he arrived in LBUSD in 2001. He’s served as Minority at Large on the TALB’s Board of Directors, a Site Rep, as well as a member on various committees. “Our staff has come to rely on him as a listening ear, a reflective mind, and an action oriented TALB representative, who is trustworthy, professional, and honest. We are grateful for his countless hours of representation.” The Teachers Association is also grateful and proud to award the Golden Apple to Anselmo Feliciano.


Caridad Rivera
Robinson Academy
22 years in LBUSD

Caring, motivated, tenacious. If Caridad were a book, she’d be a cross between The Little Engine That Could and The Little Red Hen. She, like the little Red Hen, wears many hats: teacher, TALB leader, CTA leader, mom, and grandma.

Caridad Rivera utilizes those traits to enrich her classroom and give her students many opportunities for learning. “I think I can” gave her the ability to try new methods and strategies to reach her students, letting them know that they were important, and that they had the ability to learn and succeed even in the face of challenges.  “Getting the job done well” is an integral part of who Caridad is. She is bound and determined that every student learns to make educated choices, and she works on all parts of learning, academics and social levels. Caridad is there for the whole child.

TALB and CTA have been blessed with Caridad’s energy and enthusiasm.  She has been an amazing force in getting the job done right on the Executive Board as Minority At Large, and as board liaison for EMAC and Awards committees for TALB as well as CTA. She has revitalized the EMAC committees with meaningful presentations, phone banked, walked, and given many, many hours to make working conditions better for the members of TALB. We have been the fortunate ones.

Then there is her family: her boys, daughters and granddaughter.  She is so proud to show photos of them. Ask, and she will give an update on their latest accomplishments. Watch her face light up with joy.  Want a mom? That’s a mom.

There is so much more to share, there always is. Congratulations, Caridad Rivera on receiving TALB’s Golden Apple Award.


Dr. Monica Rogerson
Carver Elementary
28 years in LBUSD

Passionate. Tireless. Determined. Caring. Generous.  These powerful words are used to describe Dr. Monica Rogerson. After 27 years of dedication to students in Long Beach, it is fitting that she is the recipient of the Teacher’s Association of Long Beach’s Golden Apple.

Monica is passionate, tireless, and determined. Whether it is for special education students’ rights, or protecting teachers, Monica is the ultimate advocate. She has worked tirelessly for insuring that special education students have the best possible opportunities to learn. She created the Special Education Task Force to provide a crucial pipeline of communication between Special Ed. Teachers and LBUSD’s superintendent. She is determined to find the answers to teachers’ questions or seek solutions to problems.  “Who are you going to call?”  Dr. Monica Rogerson.

Not satisfied to just work on site, Monica has worked tirelessly for the Teacher’s Association of Long Beach, and California Teachers Association.  A long-time member of the Executive Board, she has phone banked, walked precincts, served on countless committees, and attended many, many meetings. Her passion for education shows in her generosity of time and effort to ensure that Long Beach students receive the best education possible and the teachers have well deserved respect.

Dr. Rogerson is caring.  It is said that she works hard to make the job atmosphere enjoyable with delicious baked goods, hugs, smiles, and timely advice free of charge. She arranges yearly field trips for APE classes to attend an all-day event at Skylinks Golf Course with volunteer pros to encourage her students that they can be good at any sport they choose. She has mentored and encouraged teachers to do their best. She has led by example, and has been generous with her time, energy, and support.  TALB is proud to award

Dr. Monica Rogerson the Golden Apple Award.  


Nikole Severance
Lincoln Elementary
18 years in LBUSD

Nikole is an RSP teacher at Lincoln Elementary, where she has worked for over 15 years. She is an extraordinary teacher who builds strong relationships with her students and connects with their teachers in order to facilitate maximum academic growth. Well-known and loved by the staff and students she serves, Nikole is always going above and beyond expectations. She makes herself available and demonstrates flexibility in working with her students’ families before and after school, as their schedules permit. “I have seen Nikole come in early, forgo any breaks, work through lunch and be the last staff member to leave the parking lot for 15 years.”

Nikole has been a member of Lincoln’s Instructional Leadership Team. She works in collaboration with teachers and administration to gather and share information and insights into Lincoln’s curricular goals. She is a good listener who always takes the time to understand different points of view. She maintains a positive approach in her duties and is sensitive to the attitudes of her students, their parents, and the teachers she works with.

Nikole can be described as quiet, yet thoughtful. Her composed and soothing disposition has touched the most difficult-to-manage students, and her contributions have changed the lives of the students she serves and all those who work with her.

Outside the classroom, Nikole is a grandmother, a mother, a wife, a health nut, and an animal lover. She is very involved with her family and visits them as often as possible. She is committed to a healthy lifestyle. She is a vegan and has volunteered her time to advocate for animal rescue and ending inhumane animal practices.

Nikole embodies compassion and mindfulness in all that she does, in and out of the classroom. Thank you for all you do, Nikole Severance!


Nancy Suzuki
Lakewood High School
18 years in LBUSD

Nancy has been a registered nurse for over 25 years; eighteen of which she has been a school nurse for Long Beach Unified School District.  Her eighteen years of school nursing experience encompasses all grade levels, including Gompers, Twain, Bancroft, Tincher, Gant, Carver, Henry, Hamilton, Riley, CAMS and Lakewood.   Currently, Nancy manages 3800 students at Lakewood High School and is a respected and expert clinician.  Her manner is organized and humble, always with kindness to students and staff without sacrificing her keen nursing judgement.

She is a member of our local Long Beach School Nurse Association, California School Nurse Organization, and the National Association of School Nurses.  Nancy is the epitome of professionalism and leadership as evidenced by continuing her education and earning a Master’s degree in Education from Cambridge University.   She has been nominated by her colleagues and co-workers for School Nurse of the Year on many occasions and has served as President of the Long Beach School Nurse Association.  She has also held many positions in the association as well.  She is the creator of our LBSNA Newslink, a monthly newsletter which imparts pertinent information, new legislation and educational opportunities for LBUSD nurses.

She is creative and organized and participates in many activities.  She is the first to volunteer, whether it is to walk at a Charity event, make breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House, create gift baskets, cards, and knick knacks, or bring flower to special occasions.  Currently, she is a member of the TALB Awards Committee and is bringing her magic to this committee. 

Nancy manages it all and is very active in the community and in religious activities.  She has been a Girl Scout for 30 years.  She served as a Brownie leader when she was still in high school and worked with this group of girls until they graduated from high school, taking them on a culminating trip to Hawaii.  She was then the leader of her daughter’s troop until she graduated from high school.  She helped build new traditions such as bridging from one Girl Scout rank to the next by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  She became a Venture (coed) leader so some of the girls could go camping in Japan.  She has been a 6th grade teacher since 2004 at her Buddhist Temple.  She is also next in line to become the next Super Attendant for upcoming year at her temple.  For the last 23 summers, she has volunteered at the Los Angeles Buddhist Coordinating Council as a nurse, arts and crafts leader, kitchen cook, and she writes letter to kids who don’t get mail.  

Nancy is an amazing nurse.  She is always working quietly behind the scenes and does so much for her schools, community, family and school nurses.  She shies away from any sort of recognition for all her efforts.  She is simply an outstanding human being.