Fact Sheet

  • The R.J. McElroy Trust was founded in 1965 and is located in Waterloo, Iowa. The Trust’s benefactor was R.J. “Mac” McElroy, a pioneer Iowa broadcaster. Today, his legacy continues through the McElroy Trust.
  • Developed in 1989 by the R.J. McElroy Trust and KWWL-TV, the Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching recognizes teachers for the stars they are. An incredible 260 teachers have received the award since the program’s inception in Black Hawk County.
  • Each year, 10 exceptional teachers are selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by students, parents and teachers themselves. Recipients are recognized at an elaborate awards ceremony in the Spring, and are each given $1,000.
  • Nominees may be employed full-time or part-time, but not as nonadministrative staff. They must also hold a current teaching certificate, and be a licensed Pre-K through 12th grade teacher at a school approved by the Iowa Department of Education and located in Black Hawk County, Iowa.
  • Anyone familiar with the teacher’s classroom work can nominate a teacher for an award. This includes students, parents, fellow teachers, administrators and staff members, community members, and even teachers who self-nominate.
  • Each year, the Gold Star Award program receives more than 1,300 nominations for teachers. Of those 1,300 nominations, usually about 150 teachers will apply.
  • The Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching ceremony will take place at 7:00 p.m. on May 19, 2015, at University of Northern Iowa Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

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