UPDATE, December 1, 12:21 p.m. Heidi Kuo has been named one of three winners of the US Heartland Chinese Teacher Award from the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA). She will receive a $5,000 grant from the organization and its sponsor, LingoAce.

EARLIER: Heidi Kuo, a Mandarin Chinese language teacher at Muscatine High School and Muscatine Middle School, has been named one of the finalists for the inaugural US Heartland Chinese Teacher Award from the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA). This award was created to recognize the hard work of the Chinese language teachers in the heartland region who have built cultural bridges through language learning, often with minimal resources. 

Heidi Kuo (Courtesy Muscatine High School )

Muscatine Mayor Brad Bark nominated Kuo for this award for being an essential role model and guide for her students so they really understand the language, history and culture of China. She organizes a field trip to Chicago’s Chinatown every year and actively seeks sponsorships so the trip doesn’t cause financial hardships for any student. She recently worked with Muscatine Middle School to start a Chinese language class to allow students to start learning even earlier. 

The USHCA will hold a virtual award ceremony on November 19 to recognize all the finalists and name the winning teachers. Each winner will be presented with a $5,000 cash grant.

For more information on the USHCA, click here. To learn more about the finalists, including Kuo, click here.