The 2016 Gold Star Awards for Outstanding Teaching, co-sponsored by the R.J. McElroy Trust and KWWL Television, have been announced and Union High School Vocational Agriculture instructor Louis Beck is among the ten Black Hawk County recipients. The award, developed in 1989 by the R.J. McElroy Trust and KWWL-TV, has recognized more than 260 teachers in Black Hawk County since its inception.
This year, a total of 1,297 nominations for 574 teachers in Black Hawk County were received from students, parents and other members of the Cedar Valley community. To be considered for the award, each nominee is required to complete an application and submit references. The eleven member Gold Star Award Committee then reviewed the nominations and applications, contacting the references before selecting the ten award recipients.
In addition to the brief features of each teacher that will begin airing later this month on KWWL-TV, the 2016 class of Gold Star Teachers will be formally recognized at a ceremony on May 24. Tickets required to attend the program, which is free to the public and will begin at 7 PM, can be found online at The event will include a performance by the Gold Star Singers children’s choir, under the direction of Jessica Lieb, music teacher at Bunger Middle School.2016 Recipients of the Gold Star Award for Teaching

Tim Bartie, math teacher, George Washington Carver Academy School.

Louis Beck, agricultural education instructor, Union High School.

Vanessa Ebling, English teacher, Valley Lutheran School.

Lori Frost, kindergarten teacher, Blessed Sacrament School.

Dawn Frye, Spanish teacher, Hudson High School.

Eliana Garcia, first-grade teacher, Sacred Heart School.

Amy Jimmerson, first-grade teacher, Poyner Elementary School.

Sherri Larson, second-grade teacher, North Cedar Elementary School.

Richard Strike, math teacher, Cedar Falls High School.

Frederick (Zach) Zimmerman, fifth-grade teacher, Irving Elementary School.