News Release

June 14, 2019


The annual Nebraska Excellence in Career and Technical Education Awards and Richard Katt Outstanding Nebraska Career and Technical Educators Awards were presented on June 4th in Kearney. The Nebraska Career Education (NCE) Conference was attended by over 600 Nebraska Career and Technical Education teachers, school counselors, administrators, and Career and Technical Education advocates.

The awards were co-sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Education, the Nebraska Career Education and Innovation Foundation (NCEIF), and business and industry partners.

The Excellence in Career Education Awards recognize outstanding NCE programs and outstanding partnerships with businesses and individuals. Recipients were nominated by Nebraska career educators from across the state.

This year’s Excellence in Career Education Award recipients were:

  • Elaine Stuhr Leadership and Advocacy Award – Richard Katt, Retired Nebraska Career Education Program Director
  • Outstanding Business Partnership Award – Nucor Detailing Center, Norfolk
  • Distinguished Partner Award – Chris Humphries, First National Bank, Omaha
  • Outstanding Administrative Leader – Angie Fransk, Kearney Public Schools
  • Outstanding Nebraska Middle School Career and Technical Education Program – Beveridge Magnet School of Global Studies and the Arts, Omaha Public Schools
  • Outstanding Rule 47 Career Academy Program Award – Career Pathways Institute, Grand Island Public Schools
  • Outstanding Nebraska Secondary Career and Technical Education Program – South Central Unified School District-Nebraska Center for Advanced Professional Studies

In 2019, the prestigious awards to recognize Outstanding Career and Technical Education teachers in each of six career fields was named in honor of Richard Katt, retired Nebraska Career Education Program Director. A distinguished panel of Nebraska educators reviewed application submissions and selected the outstanding career and technical educator for each area. All finalists received a plaque and a $1,000 award. These six individuals were then interviewed at the NCE Conference and the Richard Katt Outstanding Nebraska Career and Technical Educator for 2019 was selected and received a special award and additional $2,500, sponsored by the NCEIF.

The 2019 Richard Katt Outstanding Career and Technical Educators and the sponsors of their awards were: 

  • Outstanding Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Educator – Robyn Graham, Humphrey Public Schools (Sponsored by the Nebraska FFA Foundation)
  • Outstanding Business, Marketing, and Management Educator – Shawna Koger, Arlington Public Schools (Sponsored by Nebraska Bankers Association)
  • Outstanding Communication and Information Systems Educator – Shelly Mowinkel, Milford Junior/Senior High School (Sponsored by the NCEIF)
  • Outstanding Health Sciences Educator – Debra Ziegler, Ralston Public Schools (Sponsored by Nebraska Medicine)
  • Outstanding Human Sciences and Education/Family and Consumer Sciences Educator – Marla Prusa, Howells-Dodge Consolidated (Sponsored by Nebraska Pork Producers Association and the NCEIF)
  • Outstanding Skilled and Technical Sciences Educator – Justin DeWitt, Boone Central (Sponsored by Associated General Contractors-Nebraska Chapter and Nebraska Building Chapter-Associated General Contractors)
  • Richard Katt Outstanding Nebraska Career and Technical Educator 2019 – Shelly Mowinkel, Milford Junior/Senior High School (Sponsored by the NCEIF)

The Association of Career and Technical Education of Nebraska (ACTEN) also presented the Member of the Year Award recognizing excellence and dedication within the field of career and technical education among ACTE members. Recipients of these awards are exceptional individuals who have contributed to the success of career and technical education through the quality of their work and their involvement in the CTE community. Gregg Christensen was named the 2019 ACTEN Member of the Year. Christensen serves as the Entrepreneurship and Workplace Experiences Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Education, providing curriculum and professional development assistance to educators in the K-12, two-year, and four-year postsecondary systems throughout Nebraska. Christensen was also recognized at the Conference for his 34 years of dedicated service to Nebraska. He will be retiring in July. Christensen has mentored countless colleagues, created and implemented numerous impactful educational programs, and has made an immeasurable difference in Career and Technical Education in Nebraska.

Images from the award presentations.

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education