Lincoln Elementary teacher receives Wirtz Award

DeKALB – Ben Erickson, a fourth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School, is the 2021 recipient of the Wirtz Award for Excellence in Education. Erickson was surprised at his school on March 30 at a teacher luncheon.

The award is presented each year by the Wirtz Foundation. It was established in 1989 to honor the memory of William Wilbur Wirtz (1887-1965), Alfa White Wirtz (1883-1931) and Jeann Sohner Wirtz (1902-1985).

The Wirtz Award is intended to encourage those high standards of innovative achievement that bring quality to a public school system and vitality to a community. It is made available annually to recognize the distinguished service of outstanding individuals, currently employed by DeKalb School District 428, who raise young people’s sights or who promote a program or organization that lifts a student’s sense of human values and purpose.

Selection of the Wirtz Award was made from educators nominated and recommended by current District 428 staff and was based on the nominee’s ability to positively influence, motivate and inspire students.

Nominees for the 2021 award include Katie Davis, Early Learning Development Center; Lisa Gorchels, Early Learning Development Center; Denise Flemming, district technology teacher on special assignment; and the DeKalb High School Target Team of Brad Becker, Dirk Summers, Timothy Beckett and Kevin Herrera.