I think it's impossible for us to over-recognize the amazing teachers in our communities. Our teachers need all the love we can give them, so anytime I see a story like this, I'm gonna share it. While I'm sure teachers appreciate hearing and reading kind words and getting that kind of support, it never ever hurts to give them something tangible - like cash. Several Evansville area McDonald's owners have done just that.

Winners of the 2021 McDonald’s Outstanding Educators awards were recently announced. The winners were chosen from more than 720 teachers that were nominated. The awards are meant to celebrate local teachers who "exhibit the ultimate dedication to their students and contribute to the improvement of education in our most challenging times."

Local McDonald’s Owner/Operator Chip Kenworthy explains why these awards are so important to McDonald's...

Our local educators are the definition of perseverance and loyalty. They show up and give their all day after day to make sure our students thrive. We’re excited to recognize those who go above and beyond for our students through the Outstanding Educator awards.

A total of 15 teachers were chosen to receive a Visa gift card, which will undoubtedly be used to improve their classrooms, and a "Best Teacher Ever!" coffee mug. Those teachers also received McDonald's certificates to hand out to outstanding students throughout the year. As you'll see from the list below, 14 of the teachers were awarded a $100 gift card, and thanks to some additional funds, one extra outstanding teacher was awarded a $1,000 gift card.

$1,000 McDonald’s Outstanding Educator Award Winner

  • Annette Elkins-Combs from Bosse High School in Evansville, IN

$100 McDonald’s Outstanding Educator Award Winners

  • Amber Ferguson from Evansville Day School in Evansville, IN
  • Courtney Ethridge from Resurrection Catholic School in Evansville, IN
  • Heather Dougan from Stockwell Elementary in Evansville, IN
  • Nathan Eckleberry from Stringtown Elementary in Evansville, IN
  • Russell Luecke from North High School in Evansville, IN
  • John Wargel from St. James Catholic School in Haubstadt, IN
  • Shawn Schaefer from Southridge High School in Huntingburg, IN
  • Jamie Clauss from Holy Trinity Catholic School in Jasper, IN
  • Jeremy Wolf from Jasper Middle School in Jasper, IN
  • Jill Wright from Princeton Community Primary School in Princeton, IN
  • Whitney Keown from William Tell Elementary in Tell City, IN
  • Ginger Stovall from Henderson County High School in Henderson, KY
  • Sarah Downing from Morganfield Elementary in Morganfield, KY
  • Jonathan Loehr from Apollo High School in Owensboro, KY

These awards were made possible by Chip Kenworthy and his wife and fellow Owner/Operator, Katie Kenworthy, along with other Tri-State area McDonald’s operators including Michael Burrell, Ivan Carvajal, Kelsey Hamlet, Gale Hill, Ryan Kramer, Larry Lovelace, and Susan and Rick Mann.

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