The city of Gainesville received third place — and a cash prize — following its participation in a national patriotic contest.
Johnsonville Sausage announced the results of America’s vote for the “Top 10 Educator and Community Celebration” winners of the “Best of US” contest — a nationwide call to identify the individuals and events that reflect the American spirit. Gainesville’s Medal of Honor Host City program placed third in the “Community Celebration” category, which included a $1,000 prize.
Results were announced Tuesday. Based on more than 71,000 votes from individuals across the country, Robert “Bob” Tyrell, a teacher from East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, earned the $10,000 grand prize in the “Educator” category. The “Community Celebration” grand prize of $10,000 went to the organizers of Wayne Stock, a music festival held in North Creek, N.Y., that raises funds for victims of tragedy.
The “Best of US” contest featured unique nomination criteria in both the “Educator” and “Community Celebration” categories. Johnsonville Sausage officials summoned the nation to spotlight educators who are not only effective in the classroom but also take action beyond the walls of their classrooms in order to create better places to live. In the “Community Celebration” category, the contest focused on events that most reflect the values of America.
Based on a public nomination and voting process, here are the nation’s top 10 “Best of US” educators and community celebrations:
1. Bob Tyrell – Salt Lake City, Utah (East High School)
2. Lori Telschow – Sheboygan, Wis. (Sheboygan North High School)
3. Danielle Wilkins – Orland Park, Ill. (Elwood School)
4. Margie Clevenger – Bowling Green, Ky. (T.C. Cherry Elementary School)
5. Melinda Strickland – Rome, Ga. (Floyd County Education Center)
6. Barbara Weber – Cheektowaga, N.Y. (Cleveland Hill Elementary School)
7. Cynthia Reichenthaler – Huntington Beach, Calif. (Oak View Elementary School)
8. Christopher Schroeder – Brighton, Mass. (Conservatory Lab Charter School)
9. Kristina Vantassel – Marshfield, Wis. (Grant Elementary School)
10. Lisa Runyon – Carrollton, Texas (McCoy Elementary School)
TOP 10 COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS
1. Wayne Stock – North Creek, N.Y.
2. Dundalk Heritage Fair – Baltimore, Md.
3. Medal of Honor Host City Program – Gainesville, Texas
4. Community Days – DuBois, Pa.
5. National Sweetcorn Festival – Hoopeston, Ill.
6. North Carolina 4th of July Festival –Southport, N.C.
7. Barndance 2013 – Woodstock, Ill.
8. CELEBRATE commUNITY – Fond du Lac, Wis.
9. Popcorn Festival – Valparaiso, Ind.
10. Day of Caring – Sheboygan, Wis.