Students, parents and grandparents, community members and other teachers are encouraged to publicly express their gratitude for the efforts of an area teacher.

The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Gold STAR Award for Superior Teaching Achievements and Recognition.

Lauri Lyerla, interim chamber director, said the education committee is looking for nominations of teachers whom the nominators feel has done something extra special and is deserving of being recognized.

Lyerla said nominators should, “Simply state why you feel the teacher you nominated is a candidate; explaining how they have affected a particular student or handled a situation.”

She said the nomination might explain the teacher’s professionalism, or their ability to instill in his or her students the challenge to do their best and to reach their full potential.

Along with submitting a nomination form, Lyerla said, “If they can get back-up, whether that’s other students, a parent or another teacher, letters of support; that’s going to go a long way toward helping the committee choose the winners.”

She said your nominee stands a better chance of winning the 2014 Gold STAR Award if there are at least two letters of support accompanying the letter of nomination.

Nomination forms are available at all Neosho R-5 schools, Crowder College, Neosho private schools, and the chamber office. Lyerla said the completed forms must be delivered or mailed to the chamber no later than April 30.

The 2014 Gold STAR Awards will be presented during end-of-year awards ceremonies at the schools.

“There’s four selected from Neosho R-5 school district; the private schools have the ability to choose one, and then Crowder College,” Lyerla said.

She said recognition and plaques will be awarded to a Neosho R-5 teacher in elementary grades pre-K through fourth, middle school grades five to seven, a junior high eighth grade teacher, and one from the high school in grades nine through 12. Lyerla said previous Gold STAR Award winners are not eligible to be nominated again, and all previous winners are listed on the nomination form.

She said the chamber has long recognized the great contributions good teachers make in the lives of our youth and fostering future leaders. Lyerla said the chamber recognizes teachers who exemplify the highest standards of the profession because most successful people have been strongly influenced by the dedication, wisdom, and the enthusiasm of one or more teachers in their lives.