How It Works

So how does the Gold Star Award process work?

Glad you asked!

The most important thing is to nominate your teacher.
All nominations must be submitted by 11:59 pm on February  20, 2019.


Who can be nominated?

  • Your nominee must be employed as non-administrative staff and hold a current teaching certificate
  • Teachers working in Pre-K through 12th grade classrooms at schools approved by the Iowa Department of Education in Black Hawk County are eligible
  • Both full and part-time teachers can be nominated
  • Substitute teachers are not eligible
  • Members, relatives and employees of the McElroy Trust, KWWL and the Gold Star Award Selection Committee are also ineligible

We love to honor teachers from a wide range of fields, grades and backgrounds!  We encourage everyone to nominate a teacher that shines!

Who can nominate a teacher?

Anyone familiar with the teacher’s classroom work can nominate a teacher for the Gold Star Award. This includes students, parents, fellow teachers, administrators and staff members, community members and even teachers who self-nominate. (Go ahead and toot your own horns, teachers!)

What happens after the nomination?

Nominees will be contacted by the Gold Star Award Selection Committee and asked to complete an application. The Gold Star Award Selection Committee will review both nominations and applications. They will contact references submitted by nominees in their applications. And then, they will choose the 10 superstar award recipients.

In May, we hold a loud, flashy awards ceremony where all of our recipients’ fans can whoop it up and cheer them on! And to top it all off, we give each Gold Star Award-winning teacher $1,000 in cash and a $500 classroom grant to be used in their work space!

What if my teacher isn’t selected for an award?

Each year, the Gold Star Award program receives over 1,300 nominations for teachers. Of those 1,300 nominations, usually about 120+ teachers will apply. One reason a teacher may not have been chosen is because he or she decided not to apply. Another reason could be that if they did apply, there were so many great applicants that they did not make the top 10.

Even if your nominee isn’t in the final 10, your teacher will still get to read your kind words and feel like a superstar. And, you can always campaign for your favorite teacher to be nominated again next year.