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Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy

Nebraska’s NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy is an opportunity for Nebraska elementary principals, instructional leaders, Head Start and community child care providers to take part in a year-long professional learning and resource program to better develop their knowledge and skills for leading and directing programs for children age three to eight.

Participants will engage in a blended professional learning environment that includes 3 in-person and/or virtual meetings, online coursework, and collaboration with peers through online discussions and Zoom meetings while working through Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K-3rd Grade).

Congratulations to Cohort 4 of Nebraska’s NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy!

21 individuals from across the state have been selected to be part of Nebraska’s NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy. Click the tab below to see the full list of cohort 4 members and advisors.

Heather Bebout
Principal
Schuyler Commuity School District
Schuyler, NE

Patti Drewes-Hynek
Early Childhood Supervisor
Papillion La Vista Community Schools
Papillion, NE

Jared Haag
Elementary Principal
Fairbury Public Schools
Fairbury, NE

Lisa Holland
Curriculum and Instruction Support
Omaha Public Schools
Omaha, NE

Taylor Jenner
K-12 Principal
Eustis-Farnam Public Schools
Eustis, NE

Karla Kush
Elementary Principal
Madison Public Schools
Madison, NE

Sarah Modlin
Early Childhood Specialist
Adams Central Public Schools
Hastings, NE

Johanna Osborn
Assistant Principal
Wayne Community Schools
Wayne, NE

Christine Radcliff
Elementary Principal
Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools
Wilber, NE

Julie Schnitzler
Early Childhood Coordinator
Grand Island Public Schools
Grand Island, NE

Annette Weise
Professional Developer
ESU 5
Beatrice, NE

Katie Burger
Assistant Principal
York Public Schools
York, NE

Missy Friend
Elementary Principal
Maxwell Public Schools
Maxwell, NE

Krystie Hohnstein
Director
ESU 13 Head Start
Scottsbluff, NE

Eric Hoops
Principal
Thayer Central Community Schools
Hebron, NE

Robin Kolumban
Assistant Director
ESU 3 Head Start
Papillion, NE

Tracy Larson
Principal
West Holt Public Schools
Atkinson, NE

Rita Nickel
Principal
Garden County Schools
Oshkosh, NE

Melissa Prante
Early Childhood Coordinator
Omaha Public Schools
Omaha, NE

Bree Rock
Pre-K Principal
Scottsbluff Public Schools
Scottsbluff, NE

Haley Smiley
Elementary SPED Facilitator
North Platte Public Schools
North Platte, NE

Cohort 4 Advisors

Andy DeFreece
Dir. of Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Millard Public Schools
Omaha, NE

Amy Kroll
Director of School Improvement & SPED
Weeping Water Public Schools
Weeping Water, NE.

Tiffany Shonerd
Children Services Director
Blue Valley Community Action Head Start
Fairbury, NE

Kim Flanders
Principal
McDonald School
North Platte, NE

Megan Schmidt
Principal
Kearney Public Schools, Bright Futures
Kearney, NE

Jim York
P-6 Principal
O’Neill Elementary School
O’Neill, NE

Jodi Benson
Principal
Bear Cub Preschool/Sixpence
Scottsbluff, NE

Lyndsey Douglas
Director of Elementary Teaching & Learning
North Platte Public Schools
North Platte, NE

Jimmy Feeney III
Principal
Bryan Elementary-Millard Public Schools
Omaha, NE

Megan Flohr
Principal
Eagle Elementary School
Eagle, NE

Amy Hostetler
Principal
Creek Valley Public Schools
Chappell, NE

Alison Klein
Head Start Coordinator
Wahoo Public Schools/Saunders Co. Head Start
Wahoo, NE

Holli Lovegrove
Student Services Supervisor
ESU 6
Geneva, NE

Chanc McIntosh
Elementary Principal
Arnold Public School
Arnold, NE

Ryan Orrock
Superintendent/Principal
Cody-Kilgore School
Kilgore, NE

Nicole Pechous
Director of Special Education
DC West Community Schools
Valley, NE

Sarah Roesler
Early Childhood Coordinator
ESU 5
Beatrice, NE

Cara Stoll
Director of Special Services
Centennial Public School
Utica, NE

Becky Jo Wylie
Early Childhood Special Educator
Morrill Tri-Community Preschool
Morrill, NE

Wendy Craig
Director of Special Education
Falls City Public Schools
Falls City, NE

Sunny Edwards
Early Childhood Principal
Morrill Public Schools
Morrill, NE

Christie Ference
Assistant Director
Central Nebraska Action Partnership
Loup City, NE

Niki Gemar
Family Engagement Specialist
Head Start C&FDP, Inc.
Hastings, NE

Daniel Kennedy
Principal
Lawrence-Nelson Schools
Nelson, NE

Susan Lindblad
Special Education Director
Adams Central Public Schools
Juniata, NE

Bradley Luce
Elementary Principal
Centennial Public School
Utica, NE

Delanie McMillan
Director of Student Services
District 145
Waverly, NE

Paige Parsons
PK-4 Principal
Laurel-Concord-Coleridge Elementary
Laurel, NE

Mary Pistillo
Education Facilitator
University of Nebraska, BECI
Omaha, NE

Joycilyn Rozelle
Principal
Norman Rockwell Elementary
Omaha, NE

Dusti VanSlyke
Literacy Coordinator
Loup City Public School
Loup City, NE

Cohort 3 Advisors

Andy DeFreece
Dir. of Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Millard Public Schools
Omaha, NE

Amy Kroll
Director of School Improvement & SPED
Weeping Water Public Schools
Weeping Water, NE

Tiffany Shonerd
Children Services Director
Blue Valley Community Action Head Start
Fairbury, NE

Kim Flanders
Principal
McDonald School
North Platte, NE

Megan Schmidt
Principal
Kearney Public Schools, Bright Futures
Kearney, NE

Jim York
P-6 Principal
O’Neill Elementary School
O’Neill, NE

Allyson Bohlen
Principal
Adams Central Early Learning Center
Juniata, NE

Chelsea Feusner
PK-5 Director of Education
Kearney Public Schools
Kearney, NE

Shannon Hall-Schmeckpeper
Special Education Coordinator
Seward Public Schools
Seward, NE

Melissa Jantz
Principal
Norfolk Public Schools, Little Panthers Preschool
Norfolk, NE

Nicole Johnson
2nd Grade Dual Language Teacher
OPS, Gomez-Heritage Elementary
Omaha, NE

Chelsey Klein
Early Childhood Coordinator
York Public Schools
York, NE

Tracy Naylor
Director
Lexington Public Schools, Early Learning Academy
Lexington, NE

Sara Paider
Elementary Principal
St. Paul Public Schools
St. Paul, NE

Sarah Sell
Assistant Elementary Principal
Crete Public Schools
Crete, NE

Abbey Cron
Elementary Principal
Centura Public School
Cairo, NE

Meghan Gibilisco
Early Childhood Teacher
OPS, Gomez-Heritage Elementary
Omaha, NE

Sarah Hansen
Assistant Special Education Director
Educational Service Unit 1
Wakefield, NE

Cindy Johnson
Elementary Principal
Boyd County Schools
Butte, NE

Kelly Klanecky
Elementary Principal
Wood River Public Schools
Wood River, NE

Courtney Manzitto
Principal
Millard Public Schools, Wheeler Elementary
Omaha, NE

Mary Ellen Osnes
Preschool Teacher
Valentine Community Schools
Valentine, NE

Kerra Robinson
Asst. Director of Special Education/PreK Principal 
Hastings Public Schools
Hastings, NE

Samantha Wehenkel
Asst. Special Education Director/PreK Teacher
Auburn Public Schools, Calvert Elementary
Auburn, NE

Cohort 2 Advisors

Andy DeFreece
Dir. of Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Millard Public Schools
Omaha, NE

Jason Hippen
Director of Student Services
Nebraska City Public Schools
Nebraska City, NE

Tiffany Shonerd
Children Services Director
Blue Valley Community Action Head Start
Fairbury, NE

Kim Flanders
Elementary Principal
North Platte Public Schools, McDonald Elementary
North Platte, NE

Amy Kroll
Director of School Improvement & Student Services
Weeping Water Public Schools
Weeping Water, NE

We are currently accepting applications for Cohort 5. Applications are due by March 25, 2024.

Application Packet
Cohort 5 Timeline


FAQ

What is the NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy®?

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP™) Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy® is a program designed to promote and build the capacity of national principals and directors to lead Pre-K-3 communities.

Who is sponsoring this initiative?

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP™) and the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) are partnering to provide high-quality professional learning and a resource program to meet the needs of elementary principals and Pre-K program directors serving children from age three to eight or Pre-K-3rd Grade.

Will participants be assessed a program fee?

Due to the collaborative partnership of NAESP™ and the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), the NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy® is being provided free of charge. Program participants will attend and participate in three in-person and/or virtual meetings as described in the tentative program timeline and will be responsible for their own travel expenses to/from each meeting.

How will content and training be delivered?

The program will consist of a multifaceted and highly engaging blended professional learning environment that will include three in person and/or virtual meetings, multi- media online coursework, and collaboration with peers in a learning management system through on-line discussions and group Zoom meetings. The culminating Capstone Project will provide program participants with an opportunity to apply what they are learning to their current setting. Cohort participants will, with the guidance and support of a trained Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy® Advisor, progress through the online training program that is aligned to NAESP™’s foundational competency guide, Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K–3rd Grade). Cohort participants and advisors will also participate in three in-person and/or virtual full-day learning sessions to help take theory, learning, and content into practice.

What are the six competencies that characterize Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K–3rd Grade)?

  • Understand Child Development and Its Implications for High-Quality Instruction and Interactions, Pre-K–3rd Grade
  • Develop and Foster Partnerships with Families and Communities
  • Embrace and Enact a Pre-K–3rd Grade Vision
  • Ensure Equitable Opportunities
  • Share Leadership and Build Professional Capacity
  • Promote a Culture of Continuous Improvement

What are the program prerequisites?

The program will be particularly focused on selecting principals from the following priorities:

  • elementary schools designated for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI), or
  • elementary schools that receive early childhood grant funding, or
  • elementary schools that have a local Head Start or Community Childcare director also apply and participate in the academy.

Applications are encouraged for those not meeting the priorities, and will be considered by any principal, director or leader of a Pre-K-3 school or agency.

NAESP Leadership Academy Blog

Get a peek inside the workings of the NAESP Leadership Academy as Nebraska’s Advisors share their experiences and insights from the field!

Creating Meaningful Relationships

We’ve been giving you a look inside Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy and introducing you to the Nebraska Advisors who are guiding the 20 members of cohort 2 through the academy. Read on […]

A Springboard to Success

We’ve been giving you a look inside Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy and introducing you to the Nebraska Advisors guiding the 20 members of cohort 2 through the academy. Read on to learn how Amy Kroll, Director […]

Ensuring Equitable Opportunities

We’ve been giving you a look inside Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy and introducing you to the Nebraska Advisors guiding the 20 members of cohort 2 through the academy. Read on […]

Embracing and Enacting

Welcome to Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy blog! We will be bringing you updates and perspectives from the advisors who are leading the 20 members of cohort 2 through the […]

Bridging the Gap

Welcome to Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy blog! We will be bringing you updates and perspectives from the advisors who are leading the 25 members of cohort 2 through the leadership […]

Learning & Leading

Welcome to Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy blog! We will be bringing you updates and perspectives from the advisors who are leading the 25 members of cohort 2 through the leadership […]

Shaping The Future

Welcome to Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy blog! We will be bringing you updates and perspectives from the advisors who are leading the 25 members of cohort 2 through the leadership […]

Embracing Early Childhood

Welcome to Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy blog! We will be bringing you updates and perspectives from the advisors who are leading the 25 members of cohort 2 through the […]

Updated February 29, 2024 3:25pm