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Week in Review January 31, 2020


Celebrating Nebraska schools, state senators hear educational bills, & a report outlining the importance of supporting early childhood education & teachers are all in this weeks #WeekInReview

Week in Review January 24, 2020

Getting science from standards to the students, equity in education & a national summit on literacy in this week’s  Week in Review.

Week in Review January 17, 2020

Student recognition, helping graduates earn their diplomas on time, and new leadership on the State Board in this weeks Week In Review

Chief Standing Bear

The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Governor Pete Ricketts, Senator Deb Fischer, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, and other House and Senate leaders joined the Chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska this week in a historic statue dedication of Chief standing Bear at the U.S. Capitol. This was the first time Nebraska Changed a statue in National Statuary Hall since 1937. The statue of Chief Standing Bear and a statue of writer Willa Cather, which is still being created, will replace statues depiction Nebraska politicians J. Sterling Morton and William Jennings Bryan. Those will be returned to Nebraska for display. Teachers across the state were invited to watch the dedication online with their students and take the once in a lifetime opportunity to share the story of Chief standing Bear with their classes.

Excellence in Leadership Awards

Recently the Commissioner hosted a celebration of the hard work being done by everyone in the agency with special recognition for two employees. Congratulations to David Hefley, Web Developer and Lisa Mitchell, Nebraska VR Director for being chosen for this year’s Excellence in Leadership Awards. Both recipients were chosen for going above and beyond their job duties and for exceeding expectations in serving clients and staff.

Paraeducator Of The Year Awards

The 30th annual Nebraska Paraeducator Conference was held in Kearney November 18 & 19. This year’s theme was “Paraeducators, the Link to Meaningful Connections.” Paraeducators are invaluable in building positive relationships with students at every level. They help teachers with prevention, responses, and effective strategies in building positive interactions throughout the day. In response to students challenging social and emotional needs, the conference focused on information and strategies for Paras to use to create success for students. NDE Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt presented awards to the paraeducators of the year. Congratulations to Deanna Bird, Beth Johnson, Gabby Precibio, Katie Lewis and Carol McClain for receiving these awards.

Nebraska “Crunch Off” Champions

In celebration of October as National Farm to School Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Service, Mountain Plains Regional Office worked with States in the Region to host a “Crunch Off!” The event was a friendly competition to see which State could pledge the most celebratory bites into crunchy, local food per capita during the month of October.

The goal was to promote the purchase and consumption of local produce as well as celebrate Farm to School Month in a fun, creative way. The States had tremendous success in spreading the word about Farm to School Month and encouraging folks across their States to purchase and crunch into local produce. This year Nebraska is crowned the Crunch Champion!

Commissioner of Education Chosen as President-Elect for the Council of State School Officers

Congratulations go out to our Commissioner of Education, Matthew Blomstedt, for being chosen as the president-elect for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide organization of public education officials who provide leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. For the full press release:…/nebraska-commissioner-chose…/

Step Up To Quality Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary

Step Up to Quality is celebrating its five-year anniversary this year, a milestone in Nebraska’s commitment to quality early childhood education. High-quality child care and early childhood education is important for our state’s future. As Nebraska’s QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement System), Step Up to Quality supports early child care and education programs that go beyond state licensing requirements to better serve the needs of young children and their families, and to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.…/step-up-to-quality-celebrat…/

The Nebraska Department of Education Recognized

The Nebraska State Charitable Giving Campaign is the State’s official workplace giving campaign that provides teammates a meaningful opportunity to give back to their local communities.

Nebraska Department of Education was recognized as one of the Most Valuable Champion of Dollars Awards winners at this year’s Nebraska State Employees Charitable Giving Awards Picnic hosted by Governor Pete Ricketts at the Governor’s Residence. NDE had a 96% increase in giving. NDE’s Team also won Team Trophies for Champion of New Dollars & Champion of New Givers. #CharitableGiving #GiveBack

2020 Teacher Of The Year

Megan Helberg of Burwell Nebraska was recently surprised with the 2020 Teacher of the Year Award. Megan is an English teacher at Burwell Junior/Senior High and was on of four finalists for Nebraska Teacher of the Year. Megan strives to bring the world to her students in Burwell through specific curriculum and with visitors from different countries both in the classroom and through video conference calls. Megan was honored by the State Board at a November luncheon along with award of excellence winners mark Gudgel of Omaha North, Robert Kerr of Hastings High, and Erin Meyer of West Elementary School in Sidney.

NEMTSS Conference a Success

With 1200 conference attendees this year’s #NEMTSS19 conference was a huge success. Thanks to all the dedicated educators that came out, we are definitely #BetterTogether Nebraska’s Multi-tiered System of Support empowers schools to support and prepare all students for success by systematically delivering a range of high-quality instruction tailored to meet their needs. For more info: #NeMTSS #EquityinED