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NCSA TODAY A PUBLICATION OF THE NEBRASKA COUNCIL OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS

KEEPING EDUCATION AT THE FOREFRONT Interview with State Board President Pat Timm

FROM WALKWAY TO WONDERLAND: FREMONT’S SENSORY COURTYARD IGNITES THE SENSES Nebraska Council of School Administrators

Spring 2017

www.NCSA.org


Happening every day in Nebraska’s public schools. iloveps.org Brought to you by Nebraska Loves Public Schools


CONTENTS

2 Keeping Education at the Forefront

BY TYLER DAHLGREN

5 From Walkway to Wonderland: Fremont’s Sensory Courtyard Ignits the Senses BY TYLER DAHLGREN

3 Hunter-Pyrtle Aims to Rewrite False

Education Narrative in Home State

7 Rainbows & Sunshine

NAESP Representatives President. . . . . . . . . . . Jim Widdifield President Elect. . . . . . . Jason Calahan Past President . . . . . . . Mark Johnson

Outstanding New Special Education Supervisor of the Year

9 A Reflection on a Positive Year for NSASSP

BY STEVE ADKISSON

10 The Leadership Leverage Factor Toward Increased Equity

BY JANINE THEILER

13 DATA to Guide Nebraska School Security

BY JOLENE PALMER

14 Reinventing Retirement – Preparing Heartland Youth for the Future

BY DR. KEN BIRD

15 NETA and Future Ready Schools Partners for Transformative Leadership

BY MATT LEE

NASA Representatives President. . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Mike Sieh President Elect. . . . . Dr. John Skretta Past President . . . . . . . . . Mike Apple

6 NASES Announces 2016-17 Nebraska

BY JAMES WIDDIFIELD

Chair. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Schneider Vice Chair . . . . Wendy Kemling-Horner Immed. Past Chair. . . . Ryan Ricenbaw

NASBO Representatives President. . . . . . . . . . . . John Brazell President Elect. . . . . . . . . . Brad Dahl Past President . . . . . . . Jeff Schneider

BY TYLER DAHLGREN

NCSA EXECUTIVE BOARD 2016-2017

16 NCSA Friend of Education Award

NASES Representatives President. . . . . . . . . . . . Missy Dobish President Elect. . . . . . . . Jason Harris Past President. Wendy Kemling-Horner NSASSP Representatives President. . . . . . . . . . Steve Adkisson President Elect. . . . Brandon Mowinkel Past President . . . . . . . . . . Troy Lurz NARSA Representative President. . . . . . . . . . . . Dave Kaslon NCSA STAFF Dr. Michael S. Dulaney Executive Director/Lobbyist Dr. Dan E. Ernst Associate Executive Director/Lobbyist Megan Hillabrand Professional Development Manager Amy Poggenklass Finance and Membership Director

16

Calendar of Events and National Convention Dates

NCSA Mission

Carol Young Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Lopez Administrative Assistant

The mission of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA) is to be an effective leader for quality education and to enhance the professionalism of its members.

Tyler Dahlgren Communications Specialist

NCSA Today is a benefit of membership in the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, 455 South 11th Street, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68508. Telephone 402.476.8055 or 800.793.6272. Fax 402.476.7740. Annual membership dues are $335 (active members), $125 (associate members), or $50 (student members). NCSA Today is published quarterly. Send address changes to NCSA, Membership, 455 South 11th Street, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68508. Copyright ©2016 by NCSA. All rights reserved.

The opinions expressed in NCSA Today or by its authors do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators. SPRING 2017 NCSA TODAY 1


S TAT E BOARD OF EDU CATI ON

Keeping Education at the Forefront BY TYLER DAHLGREN, NCSA Communications Specialist

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 ith a well-blended background in education and a history of community involvement, Patricia Timm enters her new position as President of the Nebraska State Board of Education with an agenda centered on keeping education a top priority. Alongside her will be the new Vice President, John Witzel, who brings 14 years of experience on the ESU3 School Board and a military background to his position. Timm was appointed to the NDE in 2004 after serving 16 years on the Beatrice Board of Education. After a decade representing District 5, Timm successfully ran for re-election in 2014. All the while, Timm volunteered her time on several committees, in charitable organizations and church groups around the area. Timm understands the importance of civic awareness, and said she was raised with the idea that being a community member means being involved. “My mother was very active in the community,” Timm, who has a degree in Elementary Education, said. “My dad really wasn’t a meeting man, be he was very cognizant of his neighbor and the importance of doing things for someone else.” Timm taught kindergarten and high school art (she minored in art at Kearney State College) in Friend, Nebraska, at the start of her career. She was there for five and a half years, her mornings spent in kindergarten chaos and her afternoons spent helping teenagers channel their creativeness. Born in Callaway, a small town in the middle of the state that has a population hovering north of 500, Timm has a deep understanding of how crucial a public school can be to the life of a community. One of the biggest fears of small towns, she said, is losing their public school. “Sometimes the school is a town’s largest employer,” Timm said. “Having a strong school provides an opportunity to keep people in the community, or bring people into the community. In smaller communities, if there is a basketball game it doesn’t matter if you have any kids on the team, everybody goes.” The school, Timm said, becomes the town hall meeting place. If that relationship falters, or if a school is forced to close, the aftermath can be devastating to a town. “I know over the years what it has done,” Timm said. “If communities lose their school district, then sometimes they are down to an elevator, a bank, and maybe a co-op. It’s tough.” Timm was encouraged by friends and educators to put her name in the NDE ring in 2004. She was appointed by then Governor Mike Johanns, and has made it her mission to keep education at the forefront since. The Department is anxiously awaiting the budget, Timm said, but won’t let that deter their efforts. “We are going to have to learn how to use the money that we have more effectively, maybe reallocating it instead of doing business as usual,” Timm said. “The Department of Education has

lost funding since I’ve been there and probably before that over the years. We have office staff, and not just major directors or anything like that, working for three different departments. It has been hard on the Department, and in turn it has been frustrating for our school districts because maybe they have to wait to get the help they need or to get their questions answered.” Replacing the Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) exams with Timm the ACT as the standard 11th-grade test is another of Timm’s top priorities, and she said the pilot transitions in schools worked well. It took Timm awhile, admittedly, to wrap her head around “Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow”, or AQuESTT, but she now points to the piece as a plan that “addresses what we do in a very clear and concise manner.” “We are using that whenever we talk about anything” Timm said. “It is really exciting how all of that comes together and keeps us on track.” The board is currently devising a strategic plan, which is nearing the implementation phase. The foundation, an alignment between the board’s plan, AQuESTT and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is already in place. In two years, an external evaluator will come in for assessments. “I think every board member had a very deep interest in putting that strategic plan together, and every board member has a real commitment to that plan being a work in progress,” Timm said. “I have noticed that as we talk in our other standing committee groups, we are starting to make reference back to that plan and I am really happy to see that.” Throughout the month of March, Timm will be traveling to meetings across the state talking about the different ways communities can engage in public education. Community involvement is paramount to education, now more than ever, and spreading that message is just as important as spreading the success stories coming out of schools throughout the state. “To me, that is the backbone of why we are successful at what we do, but I think we need to do more of it,” Timm said. “I tell superintendents, ‘You know, if you need something or want something, bring your board members and business leaders to the ESSA meetings and let’s really have a good conversation’.” Nebraska recently celebrated its 150th birthday, and Timm feels one of the reasons the State’s public schools are so strong is the emphasis placed on education from the very beginning. (continued on page 3)

2 NCSA TODAY SPRING 2017


P R OMOTI NG PU B LI C SCH OOLS

Hunter-Pirtle Aims to Rewrite False Education Narrative in Home State BY TYLER DAHLGREN, NCSA Communications Specialist

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nn Hunter-Pirtle has said it a handful of times in several interviews with various media outlets in the area, but she’s comfortable at this point with reiteration. “I often say that I would put my Lincoln Public Schools education up against any east coast prep school any day, and that’s because it’s true,” said Hunter-Pirtle, the daughter of two public education lifers. “I haven’t come up with a better way to illustrate that, but it’s what I always say.” That affinity for her educational upbringing explains why it was hard for Hunter-Pirtle to sit out on the east coast and watch her hometown state’s public schools, statistically some of the best in the nation, fall victim to what she regards as a “false narrative”. Hunter-Pirtle, who has two degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and also spent post-grad time in France before interning at the White House, was working as Deputy Director of Speechwriting for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when, in her own words, she became mad and decided to fire back with an opinion piece debunking charter and voucher schools to the Lincoln Journal Star. “I started to see these threats to public school growing, and some folks in policy-making were starting to create this false narrative that our public schools are failing,” Hunter-Pirtle said. “These policy-makers started to offer non-solutions that would privatize our public schools and significantly weaken them.” It didn’t make sense to Hunter-Pirtle, someone with firsthand experience in Nebraska’s public schools and, after mingling with east-coasters in Washington D.C., an idea of the challenges other places face. “I think people that grew up here (in Nebraska) and went to school here and spent most of their lives here don’t necessarily

have an appreciation for that, and I think that is something I sometimes struggle to articulate with Senators,” the 30-year-old Hunter-Pirtle said. “A good system isn’t a perfect system, of course there is always more work to do and things we need to improve, but, in terms of the bills we are talking about this session, a lot of this stuff is meant to fix problems that we don’t have. These are solutions Hunter-Pirtle to other people’s problems.” Hunter-Pirtle’s LJS piece set into motion an eventual move back to Nebraska. A little over a year ago, she started the nonprofit organization “Stand for Schools”, which aims to advance public education in Nebraska while defending its schools. At the same time, Hunter-Pirtle says, the organization isn’t satisfied with preserving the status quo. “We know that although our schools are doing a great job, there is always room for improvement and more that we can do,” she said. “Students’ needs are growing as well, and schools are responding to that every day, but they are really strapped while doing it.” Hunter-Pirtle doesn’t shy away from the challenges facing public schools in Nebraska, the same as schools across the country. Rising income inequality and surging poverty are society-wide problems that can complicate a school’s mission. In addition to playing defense on charter school, voucher and tax (continued on page 4)

Keeping Education at the Forefront... (continued from page 2) “Commissioner (Matt) Blomstedt did some research on our history of education and Nebraska had the makings of a Department of Education prior to becoming a state,” Timm said. “I think that the people that came here to settle the state had education at the forefront, and I think it has remained that way.” Combine that long-standing devotion to academia with a collection of passionate educators, administrators and students, Timm said, and you have a recipe for success. She has been wowed by the innovation she’s seen in the newspapers and on television coming out of Nebraska’s schools, and be-

lieves the students deserve their fair share of credit. “You look at some of the things our students are doing at younger and younger ages, and the fact that we’ve got schools that are providing opportunities for kids to go out into the community and job shadow with the hospital or what these academies are doing,” Timm said. “I wish every kid could have that opportunity, because a lot of the things that have been done in education have been the students’ ideas, and we really need to give them credit.” ■

SPRING 2017 NCSA TODAY 3


P R OMOTI NG PU B LI C SCH OOLS Hunter-Pirtle Aims to Rewrite False Education Narrative in Home State...(continued from page 3) credit bills, Hunter-Pirtle is supporting bills designed to help combat those challenges, including one that would better fund before and after school programs, and another regarding early childhood education. “It’s about how do we strengthen schools by giving them tools to meet those challenges, so by expanding things like early childhood education, career education, expanded learning opportunities (before and after school and summer programs), and school nutrition, we are basically giving schools the tools they need to meet growing challenges,” Hunter-Pirtle said. Hunter-Pirtle doesn’t shy away from addressing the poverty issue, which she refers to as an elephant in the room, but speaking to the problems it can pose can be tricky, especially as an administrator. “Sometimes it’s hard for schools or administrators to make this case or ask for help because some will point to their saying ‘Hey, we have more students in poverty and that comes with consequences’ as making excuses about student performance,” Hunter-Pirtle said. “But from what I’ve seen, educators are not about making excuses. They are about meeting every kid where they are and helping them get to where they need to be.” When educators see students walk into school with more and more needs each morning, Hunter-Pirtle says, they naturally want to meet those needs and typically fight for their students’ best interests. The devotion they show is one of the things that makes Nebraska’s public schools so special. “Nobody wants to help kids more than their teachers, principals and superintendents,” Hunter-Pirtle says adamantly. “So many of them go so far above and beyond what is required. Teachers volunteer time and pay out of their own pockets to help kids, and administrators do the same.” The darned-if-you-do, darned-if-you-don’t dynamic of talking about poverty in the education world is frustrating for Hunter-Pirtle and like-minded organizations. She urges schools not to address them alone, while lamenting that educators often feel isolated while trying to address those challenges in the classroom. “Teachers and administrators both need to be more vocal about telling their positive stories and talking about their struggles,” Hunter-Pirtle said. “What does poverty look like in your classroom? Those can be hard conversations to have, but they are ones that we need to have.” Hunter-Pirtle emphasizes the need to shed light on the success stories coming out of public schools throughout the state, ones that simply aren’t happening in other places. Modesty is a great virtue, Hunter-Pirtle says, but it’s one that public education proponents in Nebraska do not have the luxury of right now.

4 NCSA TODAY SPRING 2017

“I have a friend from Texas who says that Nebraskans are eternally modest, and I think that is true,” Hunter-Pirtle said. “Especially when it comes to shouting from the rooftops the great things that they do, but now is the time to do that.” Those success stories assist Hunter-Pirtle in her work for “Stand for Schools”. In fact, she’s one of them. “Education was a big deal in our house growing up, and I certainly owe any success that I’ve had to a great public school education and to great parents,” Hunter-Pirtle said. In addition to sharing the wonderful things happening inside their buildings, Hunter-Pirtle urges administrators to strike up talks with other community leaders regarding the dire effects charter schools could have on their community, regardless of its size. “I think a lot of folks think that charter schools are an Omaha Public Schools discussion, and that is certainly how the Governor would try to sell some senators on the idea, but in states like Michigan that have had charter schools for a long time there are rural charter schools that have caused several rural public schools to close,” Hunter-Pirtle warns. “Having superintendents be vocal in their communities about those threats, and have them help other community members to understand that these conversations aren’t just about Omaha and Lincoln, but the entire state, that is important.” When Hunter-Pirtle returned to Nebraska, a place that always felt like home, there were organizations supporting public education, but nobody working full-time to counter the school privatization agenda and advocating on behalf of bills designed to strengthen public education. When the opportunity presented itself, Hunter-Pirtle didn’t think twice. “Once people learn what the school choice agenda is about, and once they learn what school privatization looks like and what it has done to schools in other states, then they are typically not supportive,” she said. “It’s when we are afraid to speak up and name those threats that the other side gets to frame the conversation, and that gives them an advantage.” ■


P R OMOTI NG PU B LI C SCH OOLS

From Walkway to Wonderland: Fremont’s Sensory Courtyard Ignites the Senses BY TYLER DAHLGREN, NPSA Communications Specialist

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t was once merely a walkway in the Fremont Public Schools Administration Building, a large area of space used simply to get from one side of the big brick structure to the other. That was before Mary Robinson attended a convention for the visually impaired, boarded a plane and returned to Nebraska with an idea that, if she could get it to come to fruition, would change countless lives for the better. Previously, Robinson was an Itinerant Resource teacher with a passion for working with children with special needs. She was considering master’s degree options when her supervisor handed her a brochure about teaching students with visual impairments. “My grandmother had Macular Degeneration and I thought entering the field of visual impairments would be a great way to help those kids in need,” said Robinson. Nine years, and the construction of an incredibly innovative facility, have passed, and Robinson is exactly where she needs to be. It’s known as the “Sensory Courtyard”, an educational wonderland that is home to detail and will take your breath away. It’s a place where children of all abilities learn through adventure, and, most importantly, at their own pace. The courtyard is charming and comforting. Just past a giant stone that commemorates the Lions Clubs International Foundation for a $75,000 matching grant donation, a giving tree with several additional awarded grants, individual donations, and local Lions Clubs contributions, such as the clubs Mary belongs to, including the John C. Fremont Lions Club and the Fremont Kiwanis Club. A plaque thanking Michael Torres of De La Torre Art Designs for the construction of most of the facility’s structures sits a “Hobbit House”, which looks more like something you’d see on a Hollywood movie set than in the middle of an administration building in Nebraska. Robinson credits Torres’s skill and tireless work for bringing the courtyard to life. On the other side of the courtyard stands an aesthetically pleasing tree with a swing and a number of toadstools. In between, there is a turtle garden (the kids love the turtles) with fossils, a mud-pool, and a basalt water column. A door just beyond the “Hobbit House” leads to the “Snoezelen Room”, a dark space illuminated by fascinating glowing lights all intended to stimulate the senses. There’s wind chimes and a caved area that serves as an uncluttered area where the kids can read, play with toys, write in their journals, and “become one with nature”, Robinson says. Scientific exploration and learning. Enhancement of motor

skills. Relaxation. All were part of Robinson’s vision, which she brought to the Fremont School Board in 2011. “When I approached the school district, I didn’t come with just an idea,” Robinson said. “My husband’s friend (a landscape architect) drew up some plans, and the administration was very supportive from the start. To this day, they allow me to do whatever is needed to ensure the courtyard’s success.” The idea came from an interaction Robinson had on a “Teachers of Tomorrow” trip to Florida with a mother and her three-year-old son, a completely blind boy growing increasingly uncomfortable and fussing in his stroller. “I approached her, and started talking to the boy. His mom said ‘Well, he can’t see you’, and I said ‘That’s okay, I work with the visually impaired,” Robinson said. Early interventionists had made little progress easing the boy’s tactile defensiveness. The mom, as it turned out, was forced to quit her job a year earlier to provide more care. That’s when she planted a garden. “He hated it at first, but every day she would expose him to that garden, make a mess in the dirt, plant seeds, let him explore, and as time went on, with regular exposure, he started to touch the vegetation,” Robinson said. “Pick it up, smell it, feel (continued on page 6) SPRING 2017 NCSA TODAY 5


AF FI LI ATE AWARDS

NASES Announces 2016-17 Nebraska Outstanding New Special Education Supervisor of the Year

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he Nebraska Association of Special Education Supervisors is proud to recognize Mr. Tucker Hight, Assistant Special Education Supervisor for Wayne Public Schools, as the Nebraska Outstanding New Special Education Supervisor of the Year for 2016-17. Mr. Tucker Hight received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and his Masters of Science Degree in Educational Administration from Wayne State College. As an administrator, Tucker is an advocate for students with disabilities and is able to problem solve difficult situations.  According to his Special Education Director, Misty Beair, “Throughout the last year and a half he has proven to be someone with integrity, passion, compassion, and

a relentlessness that makes those around him want to become better educators for students with disabilities.” Although he has not been an administrator for long, Mr. Hight’s dedication and impact on students with disabilities and their families is already clear! ■

Hight

From Walkway to Wonderland…(continued from page 5) it. His developmental gap was getting smaller and smaller and he was making strides with the early interventionists as well.” It was clear to Robinson what she needed to do. “I knew in my heart that this was something I had to pursue and the spark inside of me was growing,” Robinson said. “I thought if that mother can do that with a garden in her back yard, think of what a Sensory Courtyard could do.” And it’s not solely utilized by the visually or hearing impaired. Autistic students, behavioral programs, Mosaic adult programs and even regular education students have access to the courtyard. The Sensory Courtyard was built on the principles of inclusiveness, the backbone of public schools and an ideology that Robinson views as essential to how the facility operates. “Inclusiveness is so important, and has to be the top priority,” she said. “All kids, no matter what abilities they have or what age they are, need to have access.” That stretches beyond lessons learned and into upkeep and day-to-day operations. Robinson manages all of the reservations and the calendar, in addition to working with students, and has two other workers in the department help as needed, plus what she calls an “amazing” custodial staff. The young adult program (18-21-year-olds) clean the courtyard two times a week. “The Fremont Public School District is like family, and I absolutely love it here,” Robinson said. “We collaborate and everyone works well together. It’s a special place.” The courtyard is the first of its kind, but Robinson hopes to inspire the construction of similar facilities. Tours have increased as word of what is happening in Fremont spreads. “I think having copycats would be the biggest compliment 6 NCSA TODAY SPRING 2017

we could ever get,” Robinson said. The grand opening, in August 2015, was a resounding success, with several hundred attendees and a ribbon-cutting ceremony from the Chamber of Commerce. That surprised Robinson, in the best of ways. “It was a lot of work, but it brings me so much joy seeing the community and surrounding areas utilize the courtyard and I know this is helping those in need,” Robinson said. “It is really neat to see this area change lives. It had nothing to do with me and everything to do with helping others reach their full potential by exposing them to new and unique ways of learning.” At the Sensory Courtyard, an educational Utopia, every smile is priceless and every laugh treasured. Mary Robinson’s vision, though not totally complete (there is another construction phase in the works), has become a reality. For her students, adventure awaits. ■

Nebraska Public School Advantage was created to highlight the transformational power of public education through storytelling from inside our state’s classrooms. We’re shedding light on the devoted administrations, committed educators, and excellent students that make Nebraska’s public schools some of the best in the country. There’s amazing stories unfolding each day in Nebraska’s public schools, and we want to tell you all about them! Contact NPSA by email at News@NCSA.org.


AF F ILI ATE LEADERSH I P

Rainbows and Sunshine BY JAMES WIDDIFIELD, President, NAESP

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Widdifield

he spring is getting closer and I get excited about getting outside and enjoying the sounds of kids riding their bikes, neighbors talking, and the opportunity to do outside stuff. I appreciate the rainbows and definitely the sunshine. I am not sure if some of us take the time to appreciate the little things. I view the recent news and politics as evidence of a world that might be missing the rainbows and sunshine. This year has been filled with political drama and unrest. We all have our opinions about the president, the governor, the legislature, and other hot political topics. The one thing that we, as educators, need to keep in mind is that we have a purpose, not an agenda. We are here to serve our students, parents, and community to the best of our abilities, regardless of any politically contentious topic that might come our way. During the time I’ve been on the board with NCSA and NAESP, I’ve been proud that we have kept a positive and productive attitude towards all types of topics. The partnership with Nebraska Loves Public Schools and the Nebraska School Advantage has promoted the many great things we do everyday in Nebraska. Promoting this positive message is something we need to do more and need to encourage our staff and community to convey. We need to come to our federal and state leaders with a unified message and show them our passion and purpose for our students, schools, and communities. The only way that we are going to be able to combat or withstand the outside noise is by having a uniform, consistent message. The message I try to project is that the focus is rainbows and sunshine in my building--we do everything in our

power to make sure our kids are successful, productive, and safe within our school. We are the first line of trust or distrust to our community and with political leaders. In Gothenburg we remind our staff on a regular basis “if someone were to ask you what you do and how your year was going, your first response will make or break what people believe about education and your school”. I know that I have told many people around the state that I work and live in the utopia of public education. I have a community that loves and supports our school to the best of its abilities. It is my hope that everyone who works for a school would have the same message. Of course, I am not saying that we aren’t allowed have a bad day or we do not make mistakes, but most days are great days, learning days, days when we try to not make the same mistake twice. I also am not so naive as to ignore the fact that some will think we could run the school better or that we have not always done something correctly. Those are good conversations to have, and sometimes patrons will have a dissenting opinion. We all have our views about what is best for our schools and districts, and it’s okay to include differing opinions. But our overall message should be the same unwavering response: “We are all here to serve and protect our students and our profession.” Ultimately, we live in a world that needs a little more sunshine and rainbows. It is our job to give our students hope and a better outlook on life, so I encourage you to be the sunshine and make some rainbows. ■

Please join us for the

NASBO Annual State Convention April 20th-21st, 2017 Cornhusker Marriott - Lincoln, NE

Check out www.ncsa.org for more information and registration!

SPRING 2017 NCSA TODAY 7


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AF F ILI ATE LEADERSH I P

A Reflection on a Positive Year for NSASSP BY STEVE ADKISSON, President, NSASSP

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Adkisson

 ohn Gordon, well known author and speaker, said it best “Today I want to encourage you to be a positive leader. Encourage, inspire, coach and believe in others more that they believe in themselves.” Upon entering my 30th year in the education field, including 25 years as a classroom teacher and 5 years as middle school principal in the Fillmore Central School system, I set a goal of implementing Mr. Gordon’s advice into my year as your President of the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals, NSASSP. So allow me take this opportunity to share a few of the positive moments that NSASSP, with the help of the Nebraska Council of School Administrator’s staff, provided during this past year. Prior to assuming the office of president, I was able to complete two days of advocacy training sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, NASSP, in Washington, DC. The highlight of the trip was meeting with Nebraska’s representatives in our Federal government. I was able to deliver the message that public education is alive and well in the state of Nebraska, but the need for their continued support would be vital in order for that trend to continue. Little did I know that our national election would produce such a divide in both our country and the education landscape. However, I remain optimistic that the NCSA Affiliates and our other education advocates will continue to be a voice for public education with our representatives in government offices. The first event that I was able to attend as President was the Governor’s Proclamation declaring October as Principal’s Month. The event was a joint effort of the Nebraska Secondary and Elementary Associations and spearheaded by NSASSP State Coordinator, Chris Stogdill. The proclamation was a tribute to each of the dedicated school principals in the state, who give countless hours to serve the needs of their students, staff, families and patrons. It is hoped that this proclamation will become an annual event intended to recognize and show support for those in the position of Principal. When it comes to recognizing and honoring their peers, no event does it better than the annual Principal’s Conference. The success of this conference is a reflection of the commitment of the NCSA staff to serve the membership. The focus of this year’s conference was to make resources available to principals to assist them in combating serious issues faced in the school setting. We were all challenged by the Attorney General’s

message urging us to do all we can to ‘protect those that are the most vulnerable’. Being able to participate in the honor banquet of the convention was one of the most fulfilling opportunities that I have had the privilege to be part of. As I read the summation of this year’s award winners, I was very inspired and felt honored to be part of such a respected group of individuals. The graciousness that each recipient expressed when giving their acceptance speeches, revealed their commitment to serving others through their position in the field of education. My goal for our NSASSP Executive Board meetings is to provide the opportunity for board members to have dialog and network with each other to deal with issues that they are facing within their own region. As you are aware, each NCSA region is represented on the board and they do a nice job of presenting members’ concerns/positions on issues. At our first meeting in October, there was a healthy discussion on state assessments regarding the selection of the ACT for all juniors, including the date of the test, how it would be scored, and the testing instrument itself. I left the meeting believing that it would best serve the membership to arrange for the Commissioner of Education to attend our February meeting. With the assistance of Dr. Dulaney, NCSA Executive Director, the board was able to have Dr. Bloomstedt attend the February meeting. The dialog between board members and Dr. Bloomstedt, left me assured that we are being led by the right person, and that he is committed to fight for effective education for all students. As you can see from this past years’ events, your NSASSP Executive Board has been actively involved in advocating for the continued success and support of our public schools, working jointly with the NCSA staff to put together opportunities for professional growth and networking and recognizing those in the profession that have stood out amongst their peers. On a more personal level, I would like to thank a few individuals who have made this past year so successful. First to Mark Norvell, I am fortunate to work with a superintendent the see the value of joining and serving in our professional organizations. To Ryan Ricenbaw, for encouraging me to run for the president-elect position that was available. Without his personal contact, I would have missed out on the opportunity to be involved in a leadership role in NSASSP for the past (continued on page 10) SPRING 2017 NCSA TODAY 9


EVALU ATI ON

The Leadership Leverage Factor Toward Increased Equity BY JANINE THEILER, PhD, Program Specialist for Educator Effectiveness, Nebraska Department of Education

I

Theiler

n my role as Educator Effectiveness Program Specialist at the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), I have the opportunity to explore evidence-based systems of support that are gaining in representation across the nation. The Every Student Succeeds Act has spurred exciting conversations around mobilizing effective systems of support for excellent teachers, principals, and other school leaders in spite of concerns of potentially deep budget cuts at state and national levels. Because of budgetary concerns, conversations have focused on strategically leveraging efforts and resources to maximize impact, with an emphasis on ensuring equity for learners who are historically disadvantaged, underrepresented, and underserved. Establishing systemic supports for educational leadership is one frequently cited approach to strategically leveraging efforts and resources. While discussions of professional support systems have traditionally focused on the classroom teacher, it is important to recognize that research has provided a wealth of evidence in favor of deliberately establishing focused systems of support designed for our PK-12 principals. Leithwood et al., in a comprehensive review of literature, concluded that principals are second only to teachers as the most significant school-level factor influencing student achievement, and the impact of effective principals is exhibited to a higher degree in schools with greater need. Branch, Hanushek, and Rivkin found that “highly effective principals raise the achievement of a typical student by between two and seven months of learning in a single year; ineffective principals lower achievement by the same amount.” Given the research-indicated significance of principals for student learning, the principal is arguably a key lever for realizing NDE’s overarching strategic priorities (NDE and NSBoE): 1. Ensure all Nebraskans, regardless of background or circumstances, have equitable access to opportunities for success, and

2. Increase the number of Nebraskans who are ready for success in postsecondary education, career, and civic life. In a historical review of equity of educational opportunity and access in our country, Goldhaber revisited the research-based assertion that “In schools, teacher quality matters most.” A focus on supporting principals does not reject this research-based assertion that teacher quality matters most; rather, a focus on principals reflects deliberate allocation of resources and efforts to maximize long-term impact. There are far fewer principals than teachers in a district, and each principal, through influence on teacher instruction, has the potential to impact the outcomes of far more students (Epstein). Traditional principal supports may not meet the unique needs of today’s principals. Christy Guilfoyle, in an ASCD policy brief, urges that any system of support ensure careful alignment with the complex and changing responsibilities of the principal. The role of the principal has experienced a dramatic yet relatively recent shift in responsibility and expectations, and building a system of evaluation and support aligned with a more traditional conceptualization of principal would reflect misappropriation of resources. Today’s principal must be an instructional leader, visionary, community organizer, data analyst, change agent, team builder, and cultivator of leadership in others. Modern-day principals must be prepared to engage in the processes of hiring and dismissal of teachers, coach teachers for continual improvement, cultivate a safe and secure learning environment, and nurture a collaborative culture of shared accountability (Portin et al., The Wallace Foundation, Guifyole, NPBEA). Logically, our next question might be “how do we better support today’s principals in pursuing growth?” In an era valuing growth mindsets and evidence-based continual improvement efforts, a natural (continued on page 11)

A Reflection on a Positive Year for NSASSP...(continued from page 9) two years. To Troy Luhr, for leaving the principal office in such great shape and for showing me the importance of serving others before myself. To Chris Stogdill, for his continued reassurance and encouragement throughout my term and stressing the importance of building relationships that will encourage a 10 NCSA TODAY SPRING 2017

positive outlook for public education. Finally, to Dr. Dulaney and the entire NCSA staff, thank you for your efforts to serve the membership in a way that gives us the motivation to give back. Let’s continue to take the high road and share the positive impact of public education. ■


EVALU ATI ON The Leadership Leverage Factor Toward Increased Equity…(continued from page 10) response might lead us to growth-oriented systems of evaluation that hinge on a comprehensive framework of professional practices. Traditionally, the process for evaluation of principals has relied upon a series of checklists, reflecting a disconnected event of compliance instead of a growth-driving opportunity to receive valuable feedback for improving practice. Growth-oriented systems dismiss the conceptualization of evaluation as a compliance event and instead embrace the essential purpose of informing continual reflection and growth. Quite simply stated, a principal’s performance is assessed according to a research-informed, common understanding of effective practices, and he or she receives actionable feedback to guide purposeful growth efforts and focused reflection. Nationwide, schools and districts are discarding the traditional mold for evaluation of principals, and they are replacing it with growth-focused systems of evaluation that encourage leaders to embrace the role of continual learner. These systems are becoming more the norm than the exception in Nebraska as well. When designing systems of evaluation and support, it is critical that we recognize the importance of beginning with a comprehensive framework of professional practices. These frameworks capture the complexity of the principal role, establish common understandings and language, and ground discussions, observations, collection of evidence, self-audits, and reflections to guide pursuit of focused professional growth activities. In Nebraska, a multi-year effort resulted in the development of the Nebraska Principal Performance Framework and Model System of Evaluation (www.education.ne.gov/EducatorEffectiveness/index.html). Recent enhancement of the Principal Performance Framework ensures alignment with the nationally recognized Performance Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL). These frameworks, or an aligned framework designed at the local level, serve as solid foundational documents upon which to build growth-oriented conversations, instruments, and processes. A framework of professional practices grounds the processes by which a principal might pursue personalized, evidence-indicated, and focused growth. The National Associations of Elementary and Secondary School Principals concur with this conceptualization of leader as continual learner, regardless of experience and/or skill (Clifford and Ross). “Becoming an effective school leader is a continuous learning process applicable to novice and experienced principals alike. While different principals will vary in skill, experience and success in achieving goals for school improvement and educational outcomes, all have the potential to improve.” Historically, the bulk of resources and activities have focused on principal recruitment strategies and preservice training. This remains an important component of ensuring an effective principal workforce, though “equally important is the training and support school leaders receive after

they’re hired” (Mitgang & Gill). Unfortunately, the capacity of a district or region to offer such support represents an area of visible disparity across the nation, and research confirms lack of on-the-job support, specifically for principals in smaller and rural districts (Epstein et al., 2017; Johnston, Kaufman, & Thompson, 2016). Deliberately focusing statewide efforts and resources can help address disparities, thereby increasing equity, growing leadership capacity and, by extension, improving teacher effectiveness and learner success. The Every Student Succeeds Act has ignited a renewed energy around school leadership by acknowledging the importance of school principals for school improvement and effective instruction. The Act encourages states and districts to engage in discussions and planning focused not on compliance but rather on an opportunity to do something more deliberate and more powerful for our learners. There are exciting learner, teacher, and leader successes to celebrate in Nebraska, yet we acknowledge that there is always room for improvement as we seek to ensure excellence for all learners. As we endeavor to improve Educator Effectiveness in Nebraska, I welcome and encourage you to join statewide conversations and activities focused on supporting our principals as a key lever in ensuring increased equity of access and opportunity for all Nebraska learners. ■

The NDE acknowledges a need for performance frameworks to support roles beyond that of the principal and teacher. NCSA is working on the NCSA Standards and Evaluation Process for multiple additional administrative roles. This significant undertaking was directed by the NCSA Board of Directors and involved input from across the state. The NDE looks forward to supporting and collaborating with NCSA in communicating these resources across the state in support of effective teachers, principals, and other educational leaders. ■

SPRING 2017 NCSA TODAY 11


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S CHOOL SAFETY AND SECU RI TY

DATA to Guide Nebraska School Security BY JOLENE PALMER, School Safety & Security Director, Nebraska Department of Education

T Palmer

he Nebraska Legislature in 2014 passed LB 923 (now Nebraska State Statute 79-2,144-2,146) which mandated every school building have a security assessment centered on the Nebraska School Safety and Security Standards completed by the NDE School Security Director. As time has passed and pilot assessments have been conducted, the vision has become more focused and clarified for desired outcomes from assessment results. The ultimate goal is to increase security in Nebraska schools by identifying areas that need support and training, and then provide that support and training based on evidence and best practice to build local capacity. It will be a process developed over a period of at least seven years. The main purpose for the security assessments is to collect data. Four pieces of data are being collected during the assessment; self-assessment, validation by the security assessor, interview survey of staff and students, and all hazards (school safety) plan. This data will be reviewed based on the safety and security standards. The data collected will provide a picture into the landscape of school security across Nebraska. Initially schools will not receive much feedback about the assessment. Once all assessments are completed statewide, schools will receive a report correlating findings from the assessment to the Nebraska School Safety and Security Standards. For safety and security reasons the reports will be available only to the school building and/or district. This data will provide clear vision for the support schools need from NDE to increase security. After all security assessments are completed, the school will have access to no-cost training to address areas where the safety team have chosen to increase their safety and security. Training will be provided by NDE at the ESUs to support schools. A seven year plan has been created to begin developing capacity and partnerships for security at the local level. The Nebraska Legislature will also be provided a cumulative statewide report of the data and study findings. The same Nebraska State Statute also indicates that deficiencies will be identified during the security assessments. These deficiencies are to guide future decisions by the Nebraska Legislature for funding. They also can provide school safety teams direction for planning and training at the local school level. When the school safety team completes the self-assessment, they have control of identifying the areas they see deficient at their school. They know best the fiscal, political, and practical back-

grounds of their community, what has been tried, what is possible, and what is not possible. The security assessor will validate the safety team’s findings. An immediate need for training and support has already been identified which needs attention for the safety and security in schools and cannot wait until the assessments are completed. NDE will be providing training and support to school secretaries during the 20172018 school year. A one-day training will be provided to school secretaries at ESU’s. The dates are being identified and will be available in the near future on the School Safety page of the NDE website. For any school who still needs to begin or complete the process for the security assessment, here are the steps to follow: Step 1 Safety committee/team completes the online security self-assessment located on the School Safety page of the NDE website. (The team may want to complete paper copy prior to electronic copy.) The school will have access to the completed electronic copy. Step 2 Notify Jolene.palmer@nebraska.gov of completion Step 3 NDE Security Assessor will contact the point of contact identified on the self-assessment to schedule a school visit to validate the security self-assessment Step 4 NDE Security Assessor will conduct the security assessment validation visit. The focus of the visit will be to help each building begin to self-assess the safety and security in their building. NDE will focus on gathering data to identify needs throughout the state and schools ESU regions. More information about the security assessment visit can be found at the School Safety page of the NDE website. The Rule 10 safety audits will continue as they have been in the past. The focus of this security assessment is much different than that of the Rule 10 safety audit and therefore they both serve a different purpose. ■

• Correction • In the Winter 2017 Edition, there was some additional text at the end of the article “First Five Nebraska: Your Partner in Early Childhood Policy.” Please disregard all text on Page 10 after the contact information for Jen Goettemoeller and Andrew Monson. SPRING 2017 NCSA TODAY 13


P R OGRAM SPOTLI GH T

Reinventing Retirement – Preparing Heartland Youth for the Future BY DR. KEN BIRD, CEO, Avenue Scholars Foundation

N Bird

ine years ago, I was faced with that question. Now, I ask myself where the last nine years have gone. It’s been a blur ever since, one that has even challenged my busiest years as a Superintendent. I have continued to learn and grow personally and professionally. At the same time, I’ve missed the working relationships with so many wonderful educators and education advocates across the state and nation, but I am having a fantastic time. May 31, 2008 marked my final day of a 38-year career in public education service. Most of those years were with Westside Community Schools in Omaha, where I spent the final 16 as Superintendent. It is important to note that six of those 38 years were with the Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of Special Education, an extremely valuable experience. With my sights set on fishing, hunting, community service and family, retirement sounded mighty good. As I was wrapping up my pre-retirement months, two Omaha business leaders, Walter Scott and Mike Yanney, approached me the idea of postponing retirement and starting a program to help students living in poverty, whether it was helping them graduate from high school, prepare them for college, assist in finding scholarships or job hunts. That was truly how our first conversations went - a lot of “maybe this” and “maybe that” - all along the lines of helping young people in need in our community become successful. I have always passionately believed in meeting the needs of ALL students. I also firmly believed then, and continue to now, that we can do a better job of preparing our high school graduates for the next stages in their lives. With those beliefs, the support of two remarkable business leaders and a blank page from which to build, I simply couldn’t refuse the opportunity to take on another career - President/CEO of what has become Avenue Scholars Foundation. Now in its ninth year, Avenue Scholars Foundation has a remarkable Board of Directors that includes Walter Scott Jr., Susie Buffett, Henry Davis, John Scott and Barb and Wally Weitz. Our mission is to ensure careers for students of hope and need through education and supportive relationships. In partnership with area school districts and Metropolitan Community College, Avenue Scholars Foundation provides direct services to nearly 900 free-and-reduced lunch/PELL Grant-eligible high school students and

14 NCSA TODAY SPRING 2017

young adults, helping guide them into meaningful and productive careers. We have assembled a remarkable team of talented professionals. Starting two years ago and with the support of the AKSARBEN Foundation and Metropolitan Community College, we have awarded 383 two-year AKSARBEN/Horatio Alger Career Scholarships, valued at $8,000 each. Please take time to visit our web site (http://www.avenuescholarsfoundation.org) and learn more about what we are doing. In my post-retirement journey, I have been lucky to be involved in many civic and non-profit board activities, and have been blessed to have worked closely with, and learn from, some of our state’s and nation’s best business leaders and philanthropists. I have learned what a caring and generous state we have. I have also learned that the need for the education and business communities to work together has never been greater. Within the entire education family, there is a tremendous need to improve communication. Despite our hard work and commitment, there is still much to be done to better prepare students for the world that awaits them upon the conclusion of their educational experiences. One statewide organization in particular, the AKSARBEN Foundation, has embraced the importance of business and education collaboration. Rooted in a rich history of service and philanthropy that spans over a century, AKSARBEN’s mission is to leverage collective business leadership to build a more prosperous Heartland. AKSARBEN is one of Nebraska’s premier non-profit organizations, and seeks to strengthen the Heartland by giving back time, energy and resources every day. This influences change for the betterment of our youth, our economy, and our communities. On October 15, 2016 I was humbled and honored to be announced as the 120th King of AKSARBEN. In my speech that night I stated the following: “We all know that tonight is not about gowns and tuxes (although you all look fantastic). It is about the future of our Heartland and the future well-being of our children. Annie and I accepted this honor on behalf of the education community and in recognition of the outstanding work our public and private schools are doing across the Heartland. We also understand – our schools – our students – can do better – we know that and I truly believe that we can build a stronger Heartland by (continued on page 15)


PARTNERSH I P

NETA and Future Ready Schools Partners for Transformative Leadership BY MATT LEE, NETA, President Elect

“A

high quality teacher is most important to the learner but a high quality teacher who redefines learning through the use of technology in the classroom is preparing their students for a future where technology is integrated into their daily life at work and at home.” - Dr. Blane McCann, Superintendent Westside Community Schools. Future Ready Schools® is an effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help all school districts to move quickly toward preparing students for success. In Nebraska, McCann, along with more than 40 other Superintendents have signed on to the Future Ready Pledge and have committed to building a culture of transformation in their districts. Schools that are Future Ready are those with empowered teachers, courageous leaders, students who take charge of their learning, and the tools available to support personalized approaches that ensure college or career readiness for all students. NETA, the Nebraska Educational Technology Association, is a Future Ready Regional Partner. NETA exists for the purpose of providing leadership and promoting the application of technology to the educational process. As such, the NETA board is excited to invite you to attend a pre-conference workshop on April 19, 2017 at the Hilton Omaha on Future Ready Schools®: A Framework for Transformation led by Thomas C. Murray, the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools®. Said Dr. McCann, a Future Ready workshop alumni, “The im-

portance of being a Future Ready leader is to set a tone and build a culture where learning can be transformed.” This workshop will inspire school leaders to develop such an environment through providing many free tools and resources. With these tools, leaders will be empowered to transform their districts, schools, and classrooms into ones that better prepare students for the world they face tomorrow. Specifically, Murray will share examples from a variety of nationally known districts and educational leaders showcasing how they created unique learning experiences for all students and nurtured a culture of innovation inside their schools. Murray will also be presenting sessions during the NETA Spring Conference on Thursday, April 20th at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. For more information about the NETA Spring Conference or to register visit www.netasite.org. To find out more information about Future Ready Schools® visit http://futureready.org/ ■

Reinventing Retirement – Preparing Heartland Youth for the Future...(continued from page 14) building better ties between our business communities and educational systems. This is what the AKSARBEN/Horatio Alger Scholarship program is doing. Tonight and during the year to come, Annie and I plan to use our position with AKSARBEN to increase the awareness of and funding for the AKSARBEN/ Horatio Alger Scholarship program and to work to expand business/education partnerships across the Heartland. The need is great -- the solution is at our fingertips -- we have a great start. Let’s not stop here.” The past nine years, my journey has taken me from Superintendent to King, so to speak (smile). As King of AKSARBEN, I am committed to building a stronger Heartland by creating

better between our business and education communities. I ask each of you to recommit yourselves to this, too. I recognize that these are tough economic times for many in Nebraska. These challenges increase the urgency to take action for the betterment of our students, and our communities. As I travel the state on behalf of AKSARBEN, I look forward to sharing with you our efforts through the AKSARBEN/Horatio Alger Scholarship program, and how the AKSARBEN Foundation and Avenue Scholars Foundation might work with you to strengthen our collective impact on young people across the state. ■

SPRING 2017 NCSA TODAY 15


NCSA REPORT

NCSA Friend of Education Award

A

t the January 25, 2017 board meeting, the NCSA Executive Board proudly bestowed upon Dr. Craig Christiansen, NSEA Executive Director, the NCSA Friend of Education Award. Dr. Christiansen served as NSEA Executive Director from 2007 to 2017 and retired officially on February 28th. Dr. Christiansen is a dedicated representative of public education and we appreciate the invaluable service he provided not only to Nebraska’s teachers but to the entire education community. NCSA has tremendous hope and optimism for the future of our relationship with NSEA under the leadership of the new NSEA Executive Director, Ms. Maddie Fennell who officially began her duties on March 1st. Maddie Fennell brings extensive experience and passion to her work as an advocate for children and public education. She is a National Board Certified teacher, a former Nebraska Teacher of the Year, and a 27-year veteran of the classroom who also served as a mentor to her peers as a literary coach. Maddie spent three years on special assignment to the U.S. DeChristiansen partment of Education as a Teacher Leader in Residence in the Office of the Secretary, and as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow. She also served as a Teacher Fellow for the National Education Association. She is currently serving as Secretary of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year and as a teacher representative on the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution Education Reimagined Project. Maddie has been in numerous education advocacy roles, including Chairing the NEA Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, presenting at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession and at Education Nation. Fennell She was honored in 2007 with the Carol Stowe Humanitarian Award from the National Education Association. Maddie earned her undergraduate degree from Creighton University, a Master of Science in Elementary Education and a Certificate in Urban Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and an endorsement in assessment from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. ■

CAL E NDAR OF EVENTS APRIL 5 6-7 10-11 19-21

JUNE 27

JULY

26-28

GRIT NASES Spring Conference AQuESTT NASBO State Convention

Cornhusker Marriott Younes Conf Center Younes Conf Center Cornhusker Marriott

Lincoln Kearney Kearney Lincoln

NCSA Golf Tournament, Sponsored by TRANE Yankee Hill Golf Course

Lincoln

Administrators’ Days

Kearney

Younes Conf Center

*Region Meeting dates can be found on the NCSA website.

National Convention Dates

CEC—April 19-22, 2017—Boston, MA NAESP and NASSP—July 9-11, 2017—Philadelphia, PA ASBO—September 22-25, 2017—Denver, CO CASE—November 1-3, 2017—Nugget Reno, NV AASA—February 15-17, 2018—Nashville, TN ASCD­—March 24-26, 2018 —Boston, MA 16 NCSA TODAY SPRING 2017


Gold Sponsorships

Ameritas Investment Corp. Dallas Watkins dallas.watkins@ameritas.com 5900 O Street, 1st Floor Lincoln, NE 68510 800-700-2362 ameritas.com

Blackboard

Chad A. Kreindler chad.kreindler@blackboard.com 605 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001 970-391-1550 http://www.blackboard.com/k12

Boyd Jones Construction Mark Pfister mpfister@boydjones.biz 333 So. 9th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 402-318-4794 boydjones.biz

D.A. Davidson & Co.

Paul Grieger pgrieger@dadco.com 1111 No. 102nd Court, Ste. 300 Omaha, NE 68114 800-942-7557 davidsoncompanies.com/ficm

DLR Group

Curtis Johnson cjohnson@dlrgroup.com 6457 Frances Street, Ste 200 Omaha, NE 68106 402-393-4100 dlrgroup.com

EHA Wellness

Howie Halperin howie@ehawellnessprogram.org 256 No. 115 Street, Ste. 7 Omaha, NE 68154 402-614-0491 ehawellness.org

ESUCC

Dave Ludwig dludwig@esucc.org 6949 So. 110th Street Omaha, NE 68128 402-597-4866 esucc.org

First National Capital Markets Craig Jones craigjones@fnni.com 1620 Dodge Street, Ste. 1104 Omaha, NE 68197 402-598-1218 fncapitalmarkets.com

Great Plains Safety and Health Organization Mick Anderson andersonmd@unk.edu Rm 220E WSTC—UNK Campus 1917 W. 24th Street Kearney, NE 68849 308-865-8258 www.greatplainssafety.com

Horace Mann

Cindy Dornbush cindy.dornbush@horacemann.com 10612 Monroe Street, No. 4 Omaha, NE 68127 402-680-9382 horacemann.com

Humanex Ventures

Katie Lechner katie.lechner@humanexventures.com 2900 So. 70th Street, Ste. 100 Lincoln, NE 68506 402-486-1102 humanexventures.com

Insuring Success

Ty Christensen tchristensen@insuringsuccess.com 19016 Costanzo Circle Elkhorn, NE 68022 402-960-5387 insuringsuccess.com

John Baylor Prep

John Baylor john@johnbaylorprep.com P.O. Box 30792 Lincoln, NE 68503 402-475-7737 johnbaylorprep.com

Modern Images

Bradley Cooper brad@champshots.com 13436 So. 217th Street Gretna, NE 68028 402-991-7786 misportsphotography.com

National Insurance

Steve Ott sott@nisbenefits.com 9202 W. Dodge Road, Ste. 302 Omaha, NE 68114 800-627-3660 nisbenefits.com

Sarah Focke | sfocke@visitkearney.org PO Box 607 | Kearney, NE 68848 800-652-9435 | visitkearney.org

University of Nebraska High School

Brian Luther brian@compassfr.us 500 Central Park Drive, Ste. 204 Lincoln, NE 68504 402-467-0531 www.compassnebr.com

Nebraska Liquid Asset Fund Barry Ballou balloub@pfm.com 455 So. 11th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 402-705-0350 nlafpool.org

Nebraska Safety Center Mick Anderson andersonmd@unk.edu West Center, 220E Kearney, NE 68849 308-865-9393 www.unk.edu/offices/ safety_center

TRANE

Dave Raymond dave.raymond@trane.com 5720 So. 77th Street Ralston, NE 68127 402-452-7762 trane.com/omaha

Unanimous

Will Hays will@unanimousagency.com 8600 Executive Woods, Ste. 300 Lincoln, NE 68512 402-423-5447 unanimousagency.com

Wells Fargo

Bronze Sponsorships Kearney Visitors Bureau

National Planning Corporation

Charlotte Seewald | cseewald@nebraska.edu 206 South 13th Street, Suite 800 | P.O. Box 880226 Lincoln, NE 68588 | 402-472-1922 | highschool.nebraska.edu

Heather Kudron heather.h.kudron@wellsfargo.com 1919 Douglas Street Omaha, NE 68102 402-536-2090 wellsfargo.com

Silver Sponsorships NE Public Agency Investment Trust

Becky Ferguson P.O. Box 82529 Lincoln, NE 68501 402-323-1334 Becky.Ferguson@ubt.com www.ubt.com

Renaissance Learning

Heather Roth 2911 Peach Street Wisconsin Rapids, WI 55494 800-338-4204 ext. 4712 heather.roth@renaissance.com renaissance.com

Software Unlimited, Inc. Corey Atkinson caa@su-9nc.com 5015 S. Broadband Lane Sioux Falls, SD 57108 605-361-2073 su.inc.com


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