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Gregg honored with Lakin outstanding teacher award

Kirt Manion
Hamburg Reporter

The Charles E. Lakin Foundation announced Allison Gregg, a former 2nd grade teacher at Hamburg Elementary  School in Hamburg, as a recipient of one of the 2020 Charles E. Lakin Outstanding Teacher Awards.

Gregg taught in Hamburg last year and currently teaches in Sidney. It was during an assembly  at the Sidney elementary gym last Friday that Gregg learned she had been honored.

Gregg entered the day thinking about anything but an award ceremony. Actually, her mind was exactly on the thing you would expect for a teacher  worthy of the honor.

“I was super pumped with fifth grade science,” she said.

Gregg said the kids were going to create an ecosystem and use live worms.

On Friday morning, Gregg was completing all of the details that would make the experiment possible.

She was worrying about a stack of homework that needed graded. She was thinking about ways to get the students involved hands-on in learning.

There was that assembly. It was announced on Friday, but Gregg had no idea what it was about.

When she arrived at the elementary gym and there was a crowd of people waiting, she began to wonder what could be going on.

Eventually, of course, she was announced as the winner of this prestigious teacher award.

Her reaction, quite simply, was one of shock. She was overwhelmed, honored and a bit shaken.

Gregg said she doesn’t know what she’s going to do with the $10,000 cash award that goes with the  honor. Maybe a special vacation for the family? But the honor means more than money—it means appreciation for a job well done.

She said she was honored to find out that her former superintendent, Dr. Mike Wells of Hamburg, had nominated her. “I though it was so wonderful, so kind for him to think about me,” she said.

And what does this mean for Allison’s excitement level for teaching? It takes it to a whole new level.

“I am excited. I am thinking about what I can do hands-on next,” she said. “I want to continue to do that, continue to make learning fun for the kids.”

The Charles E. Lakin Outstanding Teacher Award is given to four outstanding southwest Iowa public school teachers from non-urban schools within a 40-mile radius of the late philanthropist Charles Lakin’s hometown of Emerson. Winners of the Lakin Award receive $10,000 to use on anything unrelated to school, and their respective district receives an award of $2,500.

“The look on the faces of the teachers and the students of each winner is priceless,” said Dr. Lolli Haws, Chief Administrator at Green Hills AEA, who partners with the Lakin Foundation to present the awards.. “People do not go into education for the dollars.

An award like this says ‘we appreciate you’ with a big financial thank you as well.”

The award ceremonies, which traditionally take place in May, were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.