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Teachers of the Year

The Nebraska Awards of Excellence Program, which feature selection of the Nebraska Teacher of the Year, serves to recognize the contributions of the classroom teacher.

2018 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Michelle Helt
Michelle Helt
Third Grade Teacher
Cardinal Elementary School

Contact Information:
Cardinal Elementary School
820 E. 29th Street
South Sioux City, NE 68776
(402) 494-1662
Email:  michelle.helt@ssccards.org

News Release
Brochure (available January, 2018)

2017 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Amber Vlasnik
Amber Vlasnik
Mathematics Instructional Coach (Grades 9-12)
Lincoln High School

Contact Information:
Lincoln High School
2229 J Street
Lincoln, NE 68510
(402) 436-1301
Email: avlasni@lps.org

News Release
Brochure
Channel 10/11 Pure Nebraska story
(November 7, 2016)

2016 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Tim Royers
Tim Royers
Social Studies Teacher (Grades 9-12)
Millard West High School

Contact Information:
Millard West High School
5710 South 176th Avenue
Omaha, NE 68135
(402) 715-6062
Email: tdroyers@mpsomaha.org

News Release
Brochure
2016 Nebraska Teacher of the Year, Tim Royers, attended the Extra Yard for Teachers Summit and was honored during the College Football National Championship Game
January 7-9, 2017
Royers Extra Yard Trip
#ntoy16 #TOYChampExperience

2015 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Shelby Aaberg
Shelby Aaberg
Mathematics Teacher (Grades 9-12)
Scottsbluff High School

Contact Information:
Scottsbluff High School
313 East 27th Street
Scottsbluff, NE 69341
(308) 641-2461
Email:saaberg@sbps.net

News Release
Brochure

2014 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Kristi Bundy
Kristi Bundy
Language Arts and Science Teacher (Grade 6)
Ashland-Greenwood Middle School

Contact Information:
Ashland-Greenwood Middle School
1842 Furnas Street
Ashland, NE 68003
(402) 944-2114
Email:kristi.bundy@agps.org

News Release
Brochure

2013 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Angela Mosier
Angela Mosier
Mathematics Teacher (Grades 9-12)
Westside High School

Contact Information:
Westside High School
8701 Pacific Street
Omaha, NE 68114
(402) 343-2600
Email:mosier.angela@westside66.net

News Release
Brochure

2012 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Luisa Palomo
Luisa Palomo
Kindergarten Teacher
Liberty Elementary School

Contact Information:
Liberty Elementary School
2021 St. Mary’s Avenue
Omaha, NE 68102 
(402) 898-1697
Email: Luisa.Palomo@ops.org

News Release
Brochure
“Why I teach?” video

2011 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Bob Feurer
Bob Feurer
Science Teacher (Grades 7-12, retired)
North Bend Central High School, North Bend

Contact Information:
1140 Locust Street
North Bend, NE 68649
(402) 652-8208
Email:refeurer@gmail.com

News Release
Brochure

2010 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Michael Fryda
Michael Fryda
Science Teacher (Grade 9)

Contact Information:
Westside High School
8701 Pacific Street
Omaha, NE 68114
(402) 343-2729
Email: fryda.michael@westside66.net

Brochure

2009 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Daniel R. McCarthy
Daniel R. McCarthy
Mechanical & Architectural Drafting Teacher (Grades 9-12, Retired)
Hastings Senior High School, Hastings

Contact Information: 
1934 Home Street
Hastings, NE 68901 
(402) 462-2236
Email: mccarthyd53@gmail.com

Brochure
“Why I teach?” video

2008 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Mary Schlieder
Mary Schlieder
Special Education Teacher

Contact Information: 
Norris High School
25211 South 68th Street
Firth, NE 68358-9732
(402) 791-0010, Ext. 2298
Email: mary.schlieder@nsdtitans.org

2007 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Maddie Fennell
Maddie Fennell
Fourth Grade Teacher

Contact Information:
714 North 72nd Avenue
Omaha, NE  68114
(402) 871-6575
Email: maddiefennell@gmail.com

2006 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Patricia Koch Johns
Patricia Koch Johns
Theatre/Speech/English Teacher
Lincoln High School, Lincoln

Contact Information:
441 Cottonwood
Lincoln, NE 68510
(402) 416-3374
Email: pk.cozadlincolntheatre@gmail.com

2005 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Brenda Zabel
Brenda Zabel
Science Teacher (Grades 9-12)

Contact Information: 
Westside High School
8701 Pacific Street
Omaha, NE 68114
(402) 343-2732
Email:zabel.brenda@westside66.net

2004 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Diane Woodford
Fifth Grade Teacher (Retired)
Covington Elementary School, South Sioux City

Contact Information: 
515 Silver Lane
Sergeant Bluff, IA 51054
(712) 943-5961 
Email: woodforddiane@hotmail.com

2003 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Suzanne Ratzlaff
Suzanne Ratzlaff
Fourth Grade Teacher (Retired)
Heartland Community Schools, Henderson/Bradshaw

Contact Information: 
2204 East 7 Road 
Hampton, NE 68843 
(402) 723-4252 
Email: csratz@mainstaycomm.net

2002 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Anne Cognard
Anne Cognard
English Teacher (Retired)
East High School, Lincoln

Contact Information:
Email: no email address provided.

Brochure

2001 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Mary Jane Caffey
Mary Jane Caffey
English/History/Japanese Teacher (Grades 7-12, Retired)
Valley High School, Valley

Contact Information: 
Mayor
P.O. Box 682
Valley, NE 68064
(402) 359-2251 
Email: mcaffey@cox.net

2000 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of John Heineman
John Heineman
International Baccalaureate and AP Coordinator

Contact Information:
Lincoln High School 
2229 J Street
Lincoln, NE 68510
(402) 436-1301
Email: ringojohn@aol.com

Brochure

1999 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Helen Banzhaf
Math Teacher and High Ability Education Teacher (Retired)
Seward High School, Seward

Contact Information:
2421 McKelvie Road
Seward, NE 68434
(402) 643-2080
Email: helen.banzhaf@connectseward.org

1998 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Patricia Randolph
Spanish/Gifted Teacher (Retired)
Scottsbluff High School, Scottsbluff

Contact Information:
P.O. Box 133
Minatare, NE 69356
(308) 783-1446 
Email: patrandolph@embarqmail.com

Brochure

1997 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Celine Robertson
Chinese Language Teacher (Grades 9-12, Retired)
Lincoln High School, Lincoln

1996 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Jean LaGrone
Jean LaGrone
Second Grade Teacher (Retired)
Westgate Elementary School (Omaha)

Contact Information:
Email: jlagrone@cox.net

1995 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Susan McNeil
Susan McNeil
Social Studies Teacher (Grades 7-12, Retired)
Loup County Public School, Taylor

Contact Information: 
44933 Long Valley Road
Taylor, NE 68879
(308) 942-6285 
Email: smcneil53@gmail.com

1994 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Ida Cowart (formerly known as Lynn Kaufman)
Ida Cowart (formerly known as Lynn Kaufman)
Elementary Teacher (Grades 1-4 and 6, Retired)
Harvey Oaks Elementary School, Millard

Contact Information: 
Email: idacowart@comcast.net

1993 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Betty Kort
Betty Kort
English Teacher (Retired)
Hastings Senior High School, Hastings

Contact Information: 
(402) 463-7133
Email: betty.kort@gmail.com

1992 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

DeLoris Tonack
Math/Science Teacher (Grade 8, Retired)
Goodrich Junior High School, Lincoln

Email: dtonack@neb.rr.com

1991 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of James Kubik
James Kubik
Government Teacher (Retired)
Norfolk High School, Norfolk

Contact Information:
421 Ridgeway Drive
Norfolk, NE 68701
(402) 750-7669
Email: jimkubik69@gmail.com

1990 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Duane Obermier
Duane Obermier
English/Speech/Creative Writing/Journalism Teacher (Grades 10-12, Retired)
Grand Island High School, Grand Island

Contact Information:
Nebraska State Education Association
UniServ Director: Northeast

1801 Meadowlark Circle
Lincoln, NE 68521
(402) 435-8879 
Email: duane.obermier@nsea.org

1989 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Roger Rea
Roger Rea
Chemistry Teacher (Retired)
Northwest High School, Omaha

Contact Information: 
12914 Pacific Street
Omaha, NE 68154
(402) 330-6870 
Email: rrea68154@yahoo.com

1988 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Barbara Hopkins
Barbara Hopkins
Reading/English Teacher (Retired)
Pound Junior High School, Lincoln

Contact Information:
7699 Lavenham Landing
Alexandria, VA 22315 
Email:VentureOn51@aol.com

1987 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Everett Lerew
Elementary Teacher (Grade 1, Retired)
Superior South School, Superior

Contact Information: 
1105 S. East Street
Valley, NE 68064
(402) 359-5374 
Email: everler4@msn.com

1986 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Cleon Ochsner
Cleon Ochsner
German Language Teacher (Retired)
Hastings Senior High School, Hastings

Contact Information:
2138 Summerset Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
(719) 548-8895 
Email: cochsner@me.com

1985 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Randall James McCutcheon
Randall James McCutcheon
Speech/Debate/English Teacher (Retired)
Lincoln East High School, Lincoln

Contact Information: 
9900 Spain NE #D2019
Albuquerque, NM 87111
(505) 293-1095
Email: rjmccutcheon7@aol.com

1984 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Alfred DiMauro
Alfred DiMauro
English/Latin/Humanities Teacher (Retired)
Northwest High School, Omaha

Contact Information: 
1920 South 25th Street
Omaha, NE 68105
(402) 345-1935 
Email: aldimauro@yahoo.com

1983 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Julie Schanou
Elementary Teacher (Grade 4, Retired)
Ackerman Elementary School, Omaha

1982 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of David Bernard-Stevens
David Bernard-Stevens
Social Studies Teacher (Retired)
Papillion-LaVista Senior High School, Papillion

National Teacher of the Year Finalist

Contact Information:
501 Hazelwood Drive
Lincoln, NE 69510 
Email: CEO1effectivechangeconsultants@gmail.com

1981 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Will Locke
Will Locke
Language Arts & Social Studies Teacher (Retired)
Hastings Junior High School, Hastings

Contact Information:
Hastings College
Professor Emeritus and Adjunct in Teacher Education 
Email: wlocke@hastings.edu

1980 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Marge Tabor
Elementary Teacher (Grade 2, retired)
Bryan Elementary School, Omaha

1979 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Arvon Engel
Arvon Engel
Science Teacher (Retired)
Centennial Public School, Utica

1978 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Jerry Siders
Jerry Siders
Graphic Arts Teacher (Grades 7-10, retired)
Nebraska School for the Deaf, Omaha

Contact Information:
6231 Read Street
Omaha, NE 68152
Videophone Number: (402) 206-2413 
Email: jsiders@aol.com

1977 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Ardith Abboud
Creative Writing/English Teacher (Grades 11-12, retired)
Northwest High School, Omaha

1976 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Julie Jantzi
English/Social Studies Teacher (retired)
Junior High School, Milford

1975 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Gunnar Horn
Gunnar Horn
English/Journalism Teacher (Grades 9-12, Deceased)
Benson High School, Omaha

1974 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Rolland Lyle Essman
Vocational Agriculture Teacher (Grades 9-12, retired)
North Loup-Scotia Schools, Scotia

1973 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Charles A. Brown
Charles A. Brown
U.S. Government/Economics Teacher (Grade 12, retired)
York High School, York

1972 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Picture of Patrice M. Jensen
Patrice M. Jensen
First Grade Teacher (Retired)
Hastings Public Schools, Hastings

Contact Information:
810 N. Hastings Avenue
Hastings, NE 68901
(402) 462-8904 
Email: patricejensen33@yahoo.com

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