The 2020 Gold Star Awards for Outstanding Teaching, co-sponsored by the R.J. McElroy Trust and KWWL Television, have been announced and Dysart-Geneseo Elementary School instructor Sherry Parker 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 300 teachers since its inception.

This year, 500 teachers were among the 1,113 nominations submitted by 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 Gold Star Award Committee then reviewed the nominations and applications, contacting references before selecting the award recipients. In addition to Parker, teachers receiving the award include:

  • Denise Aalderks, Aldrich Elementary, Cedar Falls
  • Ryan Christoffer, Highland Elementary, Waterloo
  • Alexander Conyers, West High School, Waterloo
  • Nicole Davis, Hudson Community Schools, Hudson
  • Gail Farber, Lincoln Elementary, Waterloo
  • Ashley Hager, Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence, Waterloo
  • Rebecca Keeling, Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School, Waterloo
  • Ryan Lehmann, Lowell Elementary, Waterloo
  • Rebecca Lins, Peet Junior High, Cedar Falls

The ten award winners will each receive $1,000. In addition to that, the McElroy Trust is also awarding each Gold Star teacher an extra $500 to improve his or her classroom.

A program honoring this year’s Gold Star educators will be held Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 7 PM. in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa. This is the 32nd year for the event.