The National Academy of Television Arts & Science (NATAS) – Upper Midwest Chapter Board of Governors Award is the most prestigious Regional Emmy® Award in our chapter. It is voted on by solely by the board. The Governor’s Emmy® Award honors visionary, long-standing relationships that creatively and effectively use corporate, non-profit and broadcast resources to showcase the power of broadcasting to advance a mission or message. The award is presented to a broadcaster, advertiser or company, as well as a non-profit organization, each of whom has contributed to forward a cause.
2016 BOARD OF GOVERNORS EMMY® AWARD
The Gold Star: Inspiring a generation of students
KWWL-TV & the R.J. McElroy Trust
That’s the idea behind the Gold Star Award program, a partnership between KWWL-TV and the R.J. McElroy Trust which recognizes outstanding educators.
Each year, an independent committee of community volunteers selects 10 incredible Gold Star teachers from hundreds of nominations. (This year, the McElroy Trust received 1,270 nominations from just one county.) Viewers then learn all about these standouts in the classroom through KWWL-TV’s storytelling.
Finally, the McElroy Trust holds a raucous awards ceremony where students, friends and family can cheer them on. Teachers have said the ceremony makes them feel like a “Rock Star.” Gold Star recipients also receive $1,000 cash individually and $500 for a classroom project.
KWWL-TV and the McElroy Trust have been doing this program for 28 years and believe it’s a wonderful opportunity to lift up a profession that frankly, needs a boost from time to time. KWWL-TV and the McElroy Trust know many teachers are overworked, underappreciated and are sometimes lured away into more lucrative fields.
This teacher-recognition program is a terrific way to encourage outstanding teachers to continue. One Gold Star recipient said, “It’s not just the recognition, but it’s almost like a push. I have to be even better next year.”
KWWL-TV and the McElroy Trust also believe the Gold Star program falls right in line with R.J. McElroy’s vision. R.J. McElroy started KWWL-TV with a modest investment in 1953. “Mac”, as he was called, was already well known for his “Man on the Street” interviews on KWWL Radio, which he began in 1947.
McElroy died suddenly in 1965. A clue in his will helped lay the groundwork for the Gold Star. McElroy, who dropped out of school to help his family, understood the value of an education. He wanted the money from his estate to be used to support deserving young people.
In his biography, it reads, “McElroy believed if young people, who found themselves in the same difficult situations he had experienced, were helped to improve themselves, then the money would be well spent.” KWWL and the McElroy Trust feel rewarding and inspiring the teachers who work with young people is a fantastic way to help them reach their potential in life.
In the 51 years since his death, his trust has given $62 million through grants and signature programs like the Gold Star. KWWL-TV and the McElroy Trust are proud of where this partnership has been and are excited about the teachers the station will reach (and through them, their students) in the future.
Thanks to McElroy’s vision, combined with the relentless commitment from KWWL-TV and the McElroy Trust, the Gold Star Award is a shining example of how teamwork can inspire others to fulfill their potential… and reach for the stars!