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Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy

Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-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 3 of Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy!

26 individuals from across the state have been selected to be part of Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy. Click the tab below to see the full list of cohort 3 members.

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

Heidi Fessler
Principal
Ansley Public School
Ansley, NE

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

Daniel Kennedy
Principal
Lawrence-Nelson Schools
Nelson, NE

Susan Lindblad
AWARE Grant Director
Hastings Public Schools
Hastings, 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

Kim Flanders
Principal
McDonald School
North Platte, NE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cohort 2 Advisors

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

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

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

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

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

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 […]


Learn more!

Watch our 2021 Admin Days presentation to learn more about this year-long professional learning opportunity that helps leaders grow their abilities to lead learning communities for preschool through 3rd grade.

NAESP and Nebraska Department of Education Honor Pre-K–3 Leadership Academy Cohort 2 Graduates

Updated August 22, 2022 5:03pm