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Spring 2014 Outstanding Teacher Candidate Awards The UNO College of Education is excited to announce the winners of the Spring 2014 Outstanding Teacher Candidate (Student Teacher) Awards. These individuals are being recognized for going above and beyond to meet students’ needs! Candidates were nominated by cooperating teachers and university supervisors for three different teacher candidate awards: student motivator, knowledge expander and technology innovator. The top three nominees in each category were selected by a panel of reviewers. Thank you to Learning HQ for generously donating three gift cards to our winners. Recipients of the gift cards were randomly selected from the nine candidates highlighted in the newsletter. All nine recipients will receive a certificate from the College of Education highlighting the accomplishment.

Technology Innovators Nominations were submitted based on the use of technology: ·

in innovative ways to engage students in learning


to employ different techniques and instructional strategies


to emphasize higher order thinking skills and metacognitive strategies Stacey Muller, 2nd grade, Bellevue Public Schools “Stacey is determined to create lessons that are hands-on, differentiated, and technology driven. In one lesson, students went on a scavenger hunt to find geometric shapes in school and took pictures to create a keynote slideshow. This interactive activity showed their understanding of the concept and enriched learning.” Cassondra Rolland, Biology, Council Bluff Public Schools “The lack of a SMART board has not limited Cassondra, but challenged her to find other technical supports for students. The web-quest activities and virtual labs [she assigns] engage students and certainly emphasize higher order thinking! I’ve observed that student interest is extremely high when she uses these innovative skills. “ Kiersten Nelson, Biology, Papillion La Vista Schools “[Kiersten] gives the students a way to relate lessons to their life and keeps the different types of technology used in the classroom interesting! She effectively uses social media apps, such as Instagram, Vine, Keek, and Facebook, to make information relevant and interesting to students. Her goal is to incorporate technology in as many ways as possible every day.”

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Student Motivators Nominations were made based on the following characteristics: ·

Creates a supportive and warm classroom climate


Shows concern for students’ emotional and physical well-being on a daily basis


Displays interest in and concern about the students’ lives outside of school

Kimberly Wees, 3rd grade, Omaha Public Schools “[Kimberly] goes above and beyond in all aspects of the teaching experience. She volunteers to stay after school every Tuesday and Thursday evening to assist our third grade team with after school tutoring. This is just one example of how she truly excels in building strong and motivating relationships with students.” Emily Longe, Art, Westside Public Schools “Emily established her role as a leader very early and the students show great respect for her, both as a teacher and as an artist. Her outgoing personality allows her to connect with students easily.” Emma Dobson, Kindergarten, Omaha Public Schools “[Emma] is visibly happy to be in class and literally welcomes our children and their families with open arms. She is closely connected with all 22 students and has made a point to build relations with each individual. ”

Knowledge Expanders Nominations were made based on the following characteristics:


Teaches metacognitive strategies to support reflection on learning process


Uses a variety of questioning techniques to maintain interest and momentum


Is concerned with having students learn and demonstrate understanding of meaning rather than memorization Molly Moberg, Spanish, Westside Public Schools “Molly effectively uses pictures cues, graphic organizers, and mnemonics when working with students. She encourages students to build their own ways of remembering information and to share the techniques with their classmates.” Amanda Gehrke, World History, Ralston Public Schools “During the study of the Islamic World, [Amanda] designed a mock pilgrimage activity that helped students understand the Islamic ritual Haji. Her creativity in designing activities that engage her students is very impressive!” Elizabeth Collingsworth, Science, Millard Public Schools “It is obvious that [Elizabeth] loves her content and the students pick-up that excitement. She taught a lesson on acceleration and every student in the room was engaged; writing in their foldable, raising hands, talking with their elbow partner, and sitting on the edge of their seats!”



Congratulations to all of our nominees! Thank you for engaging your students during your student teaching experience. Abby Regier

Elizabeth Collingsworth

Laura Simon

Alicia Zeeck

Emily Longe

Lauren Samek

Amanda Gehrke

Ethan Jones

Molly Moberg

Amy Sokoll

Jennifer Metcalf

Nicole Kinzer

Austin Herber

Jessica Peck

Rachael Burns

Ayesha Station

Jessica Tessin

Rebecca Peterson

Ben Steward

Julia Mason

Rilee Park

Brody Schaderer

Kathleen Ferrel

Ronee Smith

Cassondra Rolland

Kelli Houdesheldt

Royonna Bristol

Collin Mink

Kiersten Nelson

Stacey Muller

Cory Hagenau

Kimberly Wees

Tonya Peck

Crista Abold

Kylee Moore

Matt Winterboer

Undergraduate Major Honorees Honorees selected by departments in which they are majoring must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.33 and are selected on the basis of academic achievement in addition to their contributions to the university and the community. Jessica Peck—Elementary Education McKenzie Reilly—Elementary Education Carissa Seretta—Secondary Education Daniel Stokes—Secondary Education Elise Weaver—Secondary English/Special Education Stephanie Allen—Elementary Education Danielle Hoechner—Secondary Education Kelli Houdesheldt—Elementary Education Molly Negrete—Elementary Education Alexis Page—Speech Language Pathology

The University of Nebraska at Omaha is an equal opportunity educator and employer with a comprehensive plan for diversity.

Spring 2014 teacher candidate awards newsletter[1]  
Spring 2014 teacher candidate awards newsletter[1]