Gold Star teachers draw on support of those around them

The Gold Star Award nominations were due Feb. 20, so while students and teachers this year wait to find out who won, let’s learn about how the former winners of this award feel about their winning of the award and why should we vote?

Rafael Benitez, who has been a CFHS Associate Principal for two years won the award in the spring of 2019 when he was an eighth and ninth grade English teacher for five years.

Benitez won the award because he said he was “able to make good connections with students and make my classroom a welcoming environment for all. We were able to learn from each other.”

Tammy Frahm is another winner of the Gold Star Teacher Award. She’s from the schools department for Special Needs and has been teaching for 27 years. She won the award back in 2018.

She said like most teachers that “what I do know is I continually work toward, learn and try to teach students to be successful in school.”

While Frahm explained that she was indeed honored to get the award, she also knew that she was not the only one in her classroom that deserved the award. “I can only be a successful teacher with the assistance of the paraeducators in my classroom.”

Benitez said, “Winning the Gold Star Award shifted my thinking that I did not have to prove anything to anyone else anymore, I just had to prove to myself that if I set a goal and believe that I can achieve it with my skill set and surround myself with great people, then I can accomplish what I set out to achieve. Winning the Gold Star Award was never the goal. The goal was to be a better educator than I was the year before.”

Both Benitez and Frahm said the award is basically a way to thank talented teachers for what they’ve done for the students. “Teachers don’t also understand the lives they touch through their teaching,” Frahm said, and Benitez said, The time, energy and sacrifices that those who work in schools are unquantifiable.”

Luckily, you can still touch the Cedar Falls teachers hearts by voting and nominating them for other awards.

Despite the Gold Star Teaching awards voting time being done, Benitez there are several different awards handed out throughout the school year. “Mr. Jon Bachman (a special education paraeducator), was awarded paraeducator of the year in the spring of 2022,” he said. “Also nominate a teacher for the State’s Teacher of the Year Award. You can also nominate a counselor for the counselor of the year.”

You can vote for them when the time appears in the links below:

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