A Gold Star Recognition Award honors special teachers, administrators, staff, and school leaders for their dedication and contributions to excellence in education. Parents, grandparents, or community members are able to donate to the GFPS Foundation in honor of these District employees who then receive a special Gold Star Award, hand delivered by the Foundation's Executive Director. Gold Star Awards are presented year round but the busiest times are holidays and the end of the school year when people are looking for ways to say thank you to those responsible for educating our students.
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Julie Delgado, a 5th grade teacher at Sunnyside Elementary School runs 26-mile marathons and says she applies what she’s learned training and running in her award-winning classroom.
“Do I look like a marathoner?” Delgado asks. “I tell the students they can do anything they put their mind to.”
Delgado, in her 11th year of teaching, her fifth year at Sunnyside, has been repeatedly awarded the “Gold Star Award” by parents for her work, a Great Falls Public Schools Foundation honor. The University of Montana education graduate and Missoula native, also taught at West Elementary School for six years.
School district teachers and staff get it when they are nominated by community members for their work. A contribution of any size accompanies the nomination. Last year some 98 teachers and staff won the Gold Star. They are hand delivered by Foundation executive director Dave Crum.
Delgado’s awards came from helping a student transition from parochial to public school, and for teaching different methods of math to siblings within a family over a couple of years. From her parochial school transfer student she learned the importance of humor in the classroom, and now tells a joke every day to put the class at ease.
“She (Delgado) gets to know every student as they are and builds relationships. She works with students after school and even on her own time,” said Lance Boyd, Sunnyside principal. “That is the mark of an amazing teacher.”
Crum said the Gold Star Award is about teacher recognition. “We want to make sure we honor good work and at the same time it raises money for Discovery Grants, which funds teachers’ classroom and professional needs.”