Outstanding Teachers receive awards


May 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Two southwest Iowa teachers are the 2011 recipients of the Charles E. Lakin Outstanding Teacher Award.

This year’s recipients were announced in special ceremonies at their respective schools, Tuesday. The 2011 recipients are Kelly Sutherland, third grade teacher in the Treynor School District, and Rhonda Sheldon, a 6th-through 12th grade life sciences instructor in the Sidney School District. Each instructor will receive $10,000, while their school districts receive $2,500 each.

Named after a well-known philanthropist, the award goes out to teacher and counselors in 25 Iowa school districts within 40 miles of Emerson, Lakin’s hometown. Lakin created the award in 2008 as a way to give back to teachers, who were a big influence on his life. His mission is to reward teachers who entice students to come to school each day, and to emphasize the vital role of teachers in rural communities.

Teachers and counselors eligible must be employed full-time, with a minimum of three years experience in the same school. Previous winners are ineligible, and only one award per school year is available. Teachers from accredited private and public schools were eligible, but home schools were excluded. Teachers in large urban communities such as Council Bluffs and Lewis Central were also excluded from the award.