Milken Educator Award Winners Recognized

The Milken Educator Awards, created in 1987, have rewarded and inspired excellence in the world of education by honoring top educators around the country with $25,000 unrestricted awards. Not an accolade for “lifetime achievement”, the Milken Educator Awards targets early-to-mid career education professionals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.

This year two Nebraska teachers were surprised with the Milken Educator Award and both were honored by board members and were presented the Milken Award Obelisk.

Jacob Eitzen teaches math at Bellevue West High School and Leslie McIntosh teaches English and Reading at Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Middle School.

Jacob Eitzen News Release

Leslie McIntosh News Release

2024 Teacher of the Year Presentation

Scott Phillips, a 7th grade math teacher at Aurora Middle School, was named the 2024 Nebraska Teacher of the Year in September. He addressed board members for the first time in January with his plan for year and his primary message as Teacher of the Year.

He wants to make sure everyone knows the impact teachers have on students and how that impacts everyone. Part of his main message will be the importance of good habits, the encouragement to not fear failure and the importance of maintaining a good balance in life.

He also wants to encourage more students to enter the teaching profession and reinvigorate current teachers with the passion for teaching.

As Teacher of the Year Scott will represent the state at local and national events including travelling to Washington D.C., Google, and NASA Space Camp.

Scott Phillips News Release

Content Area Standards Process

Allyson DenBeste with the Nebraska Department of Education walked board members through the process to create content area standards. She talked about the timeline and steps it takes to revise standards every seven years. State statute requires the revision of standards for Math, Science, English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Adopt revisions to Board Bylaws, Board Operating Policies, and Agency Management Policies

Board members have been working on revisions to Board Bylaws, Board Operating Policies, and Agency Management Policies throughout the last year.  The board voted to adopt revisions to both the Bylaws and Operating Policies.

Board Bylaw Revisions

Board Operating Policy Revisions

Agency Management Policy Revisions

Learning Management System and Emergency Operations Plan

Board members voted to authorize a contract to build and develop of a Learning
Management System (LMS) online training course to aid school communities in the construction of
an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The program will consist of 13 modules on the various
aspects of developing a high-quality EOP specific to a school’s needs. It will also assist schools with
maintaining current EOP’s and updating them as different hazards, threats, or incidents surface.

School Safety Rationale

Nebraska Middle School CTE Landscape Analysis

A statewide middle school CTE landscape analysis will be conducted to assist in evaluating the current approach to middle school CTE delivery, identifying strengths, barriers, and existing resources, and highlighting concrete steps to provide more students access to high-quality middle school CTE programming across the state.

Middle School CTE Landscape Analysis

Computer Science and Technology standards

Staff provided an update to board members on the development of Computer Science and Technology standards. State statute requires the creation of standards by March of 2024.  Board members are scheduled to vote on the proposed standards in February.

Computer Science and Technology Background

Computer Science and Technology Proposed Standards

Rule 58 and Rule 59 Revisions

The purpose of the proposed Rule 58 is to establish and administer a competitive grant program to
provide funding to school districts and to educational service units on behalf of approved or
accredited nonpublic schools for security-related infrastructure projects.

The purpose of the proposed revision to Rule 59 is to incorporate Nebraska Revised State Statutes into rules and address concerns regarding the Emergency Response to Life Threatening Asthma or systemic Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis) Protocols. Additional edits were made to reduce redundancy with Nebraska Revised State Statutes, define “School is in Session”, and other minor edits.