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NCSA Ambassador Program working with

Nebraska Loves Public Schools

Promoting Nebraska’s Public Schools

Nebraska Council of School Administrators

Summer 2016




2 Promoting Nebraska’s Public Schools BY DR. MIKE DULANEY

3 Collaboration, Cost Containment, and Convergence BY DR. DEAN FOLKERS

5 Reflections of a Former State Senator and NCCA Executive Director BY DENNIS BAACK




NCSA Honors Retirees


Street Named CASE Outstanding Administrator


NSASSP Announces 2016-17 Nebraska High School Principal of the Year


NSASSP Announces 2016-17 Nebraska Middle School Principal of the Year


NCSA to Hold Charity Walk for Make-A-Wish Nebraska



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National Convention Dates Calendar of Events

NCSA EXECUTIVE BOARD 2015-2016 Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ryan Ricenbaw Vice Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Apple Immed. Past Chair . . . Dr. Mike Teahon NASA Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . Kyle McGowan President Elect . . . . . . . Dr. Mike Sieh Past President . . . . . . . . . Mike Apple NASBO Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Schneider President Elect . . . . . . . . John Brazell Past President . . . . . . . . . Rick Haney NAESP Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Johnson President Elect . . . . . . Jim Widdifield Past President . . . . . . . . . . Rod Engel NASES Representatives President . . . . Wendy Kemling-Horner President Elect . . . . . . . Missy Dobish Past President . . . . . . Sally Giittinger NSASSP Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Troy Lurz President Elect . . . . . . Steve Adkisson Past President . . . . . . Ryan Ricenbaw 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 Carol Young Executive Administrative Assistant

NCSA Mission 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. 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 $40 (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.

Michelle Lopez Administrative Assistant The opinions expressed in NCSA Today or by its authors do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators. SUMMER 2016 NCSA TODAY 1


Promoting Nebraska’s Public Schools BY DR. MIKE DULANEY, NCSA Executive Director


e in public education need to be bold in promoting the extraordinary work that is taking place in our schools. While it’s natural to be humble about our successes, maintaining the integrity and support of public schools requires unapologetically highlighting what makes public schools so exceptional. Through compelling storytelling, I believe, we can engage and educate the citizens of Nebraska and beyond about the advantages of Nebraska public schools. The transformational power of public education is no secret to those who work within it, but it can go unnoticed outside the classroom. Often I am asked why we don’t do a better job promoting our schools. I agree that we cannot only do better, but that it is critical for us to share our stories with the public as we look towards what waits for us just on the horizon. With that motivation in mind, the Nebraska Public School Advantage (NPSA) was born. On January 27, 2016, the NCSA Executive Board granted permission to use reasonable resources to coordinate with NCSA and other organizations, including Nebraska Loves Public Schools (NELPS), to tell the enumerable, amazing stories within our schools from every corner of our state. At the same time of the creation of the Nebraska Public School Advantage, NCSA was working with the Omaha-based Sherwood Foundation on an idea to create the NCSA Ambassador Program, which would pursue several objectives, including: • Promoting the incomparable efforts and films produced by Nebraska Loves Public Schools, including Consider the Alternative, etc. • Contacting and visiting our schools to collect the success stories that need to be told; and • Broadcasting the success stories through all means possible, including social media and a website dedicated for this purpose. We are very grateful to the Sherwood Foundation for agreeing to support the formation of the NCSA Ambassador Program. Without their help, this effort wouldn’t be possible. I’m pleased to present the three NCSA Ambassadors who will be reaching out to our public schools in the very near future.

Mr. Kyle McGowan

Dr. Cinde Windell

Dr. Keith Rohwer

I’m also pleased to present our new NCSA Communications Specialist, Ms. Lindsey Cook, who will undertake the work of interviewing and writing each individual success story for publication. Lindsey’s extensive education paired with her previous experience as a writer and journalist makes her a multifaceted storyteller who is here to help share your stories effectively. It is her mission to help administrators and educators articulate the power of public education in a thoughtful and effective way.* Lindsey Cook The Nebraska Public School Advantage and our NCSA Ambassador Program will work very closely with the fine people at Nebraska Loves Public Schools. In fact, members will notice at this year’s Administrators’ Days that Nebraska Loves Public Schools will have a very prominent presence. n *If you have a success story that you wish to have shared throughout the State, please contact Lindsey at

NCSA has proudly partnered with Nebraska Loves Public Schools. Members will notice at this year’s Administrators’ Days that Nebraska Loves Public Schools will have a very prominent presence. Be sure to look for them near registration and stop by to say hello to our friends. 2 NCSA TODAY SUMMER 2016


Collaboration, Cost Containment, and Convergence BY DR. DEAN FOLKERS, NDE Senior Administrator


ronically, the polarization of the political landscape yields significantly different approaches to addressing today’s issues, while at the same time the opportunity for collaboration in education has never been greater. A general understanding of the increasing demands among all levels of the education system spawned a desire to look around and find better ways to manage priorities and challenges. The results are focused collaboration, considerations for cost containment, and a convergence of opportunity, timing, possibilities, and planning. Folkers

Collaboration I remember a number of times during my early years of teaching high school at Columbus Lakeview where neighboring district teachers identified ways that we could leverage grant resources and experiences through deeper collaboration to achieve a more focused and educational experience for students. Sharing early aquaculture tank designs, greenhouse plans, computerized record keeping approaches or water quality testing worked for the region. The collaboration focused on something greater than our own interests and collectively achieved a new level of opportunity with fewer resources to achieve a greater outcome. Collaboration requires effort, checking egos at the door, and identifying a common vision for the future. I will never forget a note in my mailbox from my Superintendent at Lakeview High School that simply said, “see me.” As I meandered into the office of the late Richard “Dick” Kamm, I had some level of anxiety, wondering what I may have done now. I was welcomed into his office where he asked if I wanted to see his new laptop computer. My curiosity had piqued, as Dick was not traditionally a fan of new fancy technology and for him to have a new laptop in the early ’90s was incredibly curious. Dick then grabbed a pile of manila file folders from his desk top, filled with papers and reports, sat down on in the chair and placed the folders on his lap, saying, “See Dean, this is my new laptop computer!” After an ample amount of laughter, not to mention a significant amount of personal relief, Dick proceeded to sign a grant application that aspired to use laptop computers for the

Young Farmers’ computerized record keeping instruction process. Mr. Kamm’s perspective of a laptop computer is an example that collaboration must take a variety of different perspectives, opinions, and engaged stakeholders to achieve the end goal. The efforts, regardless are where people start, can create new and innovative contributions to the process of improvement. The collaboration efforts occurring across the state, with the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council (ESUCC), School Districts, other state agencies and others to support the efforts of teaching, learning, and student success and access has been remarkable. A critical motivation of a number of these collaboration revolves around a need for cost containment. Cost Containment Imagine, an opportunity to have access to state-ofthe-art educational resources and supports at the lowest cost possible. Or an opportunity to leverage statewide buying power for innovative technologies and tools to support the teaching and learning or administrative processes locally. Imagine a group of education leaders working collaboratively at the state and regional level to find efficient and effective models for delivering resources focused primary on goals of • lower costs; • equity of access, • supporting privacy and security of information; and • ease of implementation supported through a coordinated network for each and every school in Nebraska. Through efforts by NDE, ESUCC and others, these outcomes of collaboration are moving forward and continue to be a priority in our state. Examples include learning management systems, Student Information Systems, Open Educational Resources (OER), and more create significant potential to contain costs, but more importantly offer access to the resources for all those that choose to take advantage of the options. A great example of the work that can be accomplished by matching a vision with collaboration is Network Nebraska and access to broadband. This (continued on page 4) SUMMER 2016 NCSA TODAY 3

NDE UPDATE Collaboration, Cost Containment, and Convergence (continued from page 3) collaboration is truly a source of envy around the country. The growing space around providing access to statewide services and support is no longer a pipe dream filled with glittering generalities, but is actualized now and is only continuing to grow. The speed of the growth is dependent upon demand and in some cases a willingness to give a little in the short term, to gain tremendous benefit in the long term. A key piece to this collaboration, supporting cost containment, is the convergence of multiple efforts currently in the education landscape. Convergence There are several major initiatives, efforts, and programmatic implementations occurring over the coming months and years. These include, but are not limited to, a strategic vision of the State Board of Education, new federal legislation Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the development and implementation of an assessment vision, the enhancement of AQuESTT, research and evaluation priorities, work to support privacy and security of stu-

dent information, identity management, educational technology resources and access, open education resources, strategic professional learning efforts, and a number of other “work streams.� As all of these streams of work progress, a critical function of the future success will be the alignment and ultimate convergence of the outcomes. The convergence should allow leveraging new options in ESSA, focused priorities and guidance, more efficient planning and support for systems, and many other tremendous opportunities all focused on supporting every student, every day. Conclusion The collaborative approaches, a focus on cost containment and the emerging convergence provide unprecedented opportunities for Nebraska education. Access to resources and training, more efficiently and effectively, all while advancing a broader vision in support of schools provides for truly exciting times. n

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Reflections of a Former State Senator and NCCA Executive Director BY DENNIS BAACK, Nebraska Community College Association Executive Director



s I prepare for retirement as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Community College Association, I would like to reflect on some of the legislative issues that I have been involved with both as a State Senator from District 47 and in my current position with the community colleges. Coming from a very rural part of Nebraska (Kimball), I was very concerned that children that attended some of the smaller public schools would have the same access to learning opportunities that children from larger more urban areas would have. My service on the Education Committee during my legislative career reinforced the idea that all students regardless of location should have the same learning opportunities. This inspired me to introduce option enrollment legislation which would then give students the opportunity to choose a school district other than the one they resided in if the other district offered a better learning opportunity for the student. Option enrollment had already passed in Minnesota and I had numerous conversations with the State Senator from Minnesota who had sponsored that legislation. I was able to use the basic concepts that were established by Minnesota and adapt them to work in Nebraska. Another motivation for option enrollment was to try to keep Nebraska from moving towards charter schools which had begun to be formed in other states giving parents and students choices for their educational services. The record for charter schools had been very mixed and I believed some public schools had not been able to access the resources they needed due to states sending resources to charter schools. Option enrollment has been amended numerous times since its initial passage to reflect changes that have occurred in Nebraska. Overall, I think option enrollment has been very successful by offering education choices to thousands of students. Another issue that was in the forefront in the late 1980s was property tax support for K-12 education. The Education Committee of the Legislature, under the leadership of Senator Ron Withem, decided to take on this issue. The Education Committee, which I was a member of, did extensive research on this topic and came up with a proposal that would change the way K-12 education was

funded. The only way that more money could be used for additional K-12 state aid was by linking more state money to an increase in both sales tax and income tax rates. The Legislature passed LB1059 and overrode a gubernatorial veto to put this legislation into law. This law was then challenged with a petition drive which collected enough signatures to put this issue before the voters. The state aid revision bill as well as increases in both sales and income taxes survived a vote of the people and became law. The current pressure that the Legislature is experiencing with property taxes is very similar to the pressure in the late 1980s. At that time, the people of the state of Nebraska were willing to increase sales and income taxes to get some property tax relief. It may take another bold move on the part of the Legislature in order for them to give significant property tax relief in the future. As I retire as Executive Director, I feel that the partnership and cooperation between the various sectors of postsecondary education and also the K-12 education sector have improved dramatically in my 23 years in this position. Hopefully, these partnerships will help Nebraska develop a solid workforce and provide all of our citizens with a good education that will help Nebraska grow and prosper. My eight years on the local school board in Dix and nine years in the Legislature were two great learning opportunities and gave me a whole new appreciation for Nebraska and the wonderful quality of life it has to offer. I would encourage all citizens to get involved in public service as it is personally rewarding and provides Nebraska with good leadership for the future. n

NCSA expresses its deep appreciation and gratitude to Dennis Baack for his outstanding service to his community and the state. We wish Dennis the very best in his retirement.



40 Years Later BY WENDY KEMLING, President, NASES



uring this past school year, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) celebrated its 40th year of passage. IDEA fundamentally changed the way students with disabilities are educated. Before the passage of the law, only one in five students with disabilities attended public school. At that time people championing the cause were focused solely on students with disabilities having access to the educational system. Following the passage of IDEA, no longer were students with disabilities denied access to their school districts. No longer were they kept out of sight or in separate schools. According to the US Department of Education, today, over 62 percent of students with disabilities are in the general education classrooms 80 percent or more of their school day. Access has definitely been a focus. According to Thomas Hehir, a longtime advocate for children with disabilities, the IDEA, is “a qualified success” from his perspective. He indicates that, “the extension of education to all kids” is an “unqualified success.” But, he acknowledges, there are still issues that need to be addressed. Today the direction in special education continues to evolve. Currently there is more focus on performance and growth. The Office of Special Education Populations (OSEP) recently rolled out an initiative called Results Driven Accountability (RDA). Through this initiative, OSEP is shifting the accountability system from a primary emphasis on compliance to a framework that focuses on improved results for students with disabilities. RDA emphasizes child outcomes such as performance on assessments, graduation rates, and early childhood outcomes. The ideals of IDEA continue to be centered around equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for students with disabilities. It is hard to imagine that our state special education director, Gary Sherman, has been the director through all of this. Mr. Sherman is the longest presiding state director in the nation. He has lived through all of these changes and continues to work through the new vision for the nation as well as the state. Recently, Gary has announced his retirement which will be effective in December. I am sure it is hard to imagine what he has witnessed through the years. I do know that many of us will miss


his wisdom, knowledge, and historical perspective. He is leaving the state in good hands with those he has mentored. It is an exciting time to be involved with special education services in Nebraska. As I reflect on various speakers we have had this year through NASES, I can’t help but think the most valuable group was the Learning and Educating About Disabilities (LEAD) Team. The team originated out of Cheyenne Mountain High School and was developed by Alan Pocock whom the students so affectionately refer to as Po. The team presented to our spring NASES meeting in March and again I was able to see them in April at the national Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) convention. The team is a group of high school students with disabilities. Po works with them for a year or two in developing their understanding of their disability(ies). He helps them understand how their brains work and why they struggle with specific skills. In turn, the students in LEAD peer mentor younger students, so they know that there are others who understand their struggles. Once they have been in the program for a year or more, they can travel with the team to conduct presentations across the country. Their presentation has a strong focus on self-advocating. Through knowledge of what their disability is and how it affects them, they are able to explain to others what they need to be successful. As they present, one can see the trials and tribulations they work through on a daily basis. But by advocating for themselves, they are able to explain why accommodations such as extended time can significantly improve their ability to be successful on their coursework and in life outside of school. Some of the most powerful statements they made were: • “I hated going to that classroom down the hall and being removed from my class. It made me feel like I was different from everyone else.” • “By having extended time on the ACT, my score went from an 18 to a 28 in science. Now I am planning on a career in the science field.” • “I have been on every medicine available, and each one had horrible side effects. One even caused me to have a twitch. Teachers ask me why I don’t take them, but I am not willing to deal with the side effects.” (continued on page 11)


NCSA Honors Retirees


ach year NCSA is sad to lose but happy to congratulate those educators who are leaving the profession due to their longdeserved retirement. We are honored to share with you a glimpse of their future plans or just a bit of advice that only those who have worked with children and parents for so long can give!

Rich Alt Superintendent Plainview Public Schools Thanks to all who have been a part of my 44 years in education. During that time I have seen a lot of change in our educational system and I applaud all who have kept students as our number one focus. Best wishes to all and keep up the great work. Galen Boldt (re-retiring) Superintendent Wahoo Public Schools Well, here I go again! It seems like every few years I get an itch to get on the motorcycle and go places. Cindy and I have determined that now is the time to do it again at the end of this school year, which completes 40 years of service to Nebraska education. I cannot express enough my extreme gratitude to the school communities and people of Sterling, Tecumseh, Norris, and Wahoo for allowing me to be a part of their educational and community culture. I feel similar sentiments for everyone associated with NCSA for their dedication to meeting the needs of administrators in Nebraska and promoting initiatives that support them in their efforts to help students pursue their hopes and dreams. The education business has simply given me more blessings than I deserve. It has provided me the road to make connections with people I will remember forever. It has provided me joy beyond measure, and for that I say: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. As for retirement, well…don’t be surprised!

Nancy Brosamle Principal Rohwer Elementary – Millard Public Schools It has been my privilege to serve children for 40 years. I am grateful to so many colleagues who have guided and encouraged me along this journey and to the many children and families who have brought so many smiles to my face. I am also grateful to NCSA and Region 2 and 4 elementary principal groups for their educational leadership. I am looking forward to time with my children and grandchildren and travels with my husband. I have had the privilege to work with aspiring educational leaders and I know the future is in good hands. Thanks to each of you who has touched my life. Cathleen Cafferty Principal Raymond A. Watson Elementary – Hastings Public Schools After 30 years in education and 17 years in administration, I will be retiring. My years as an educator and administrator in Nebraska has been a career that brought great joy and many rewards. I will miss my colleagues at the local, regional, and state levels immensely. My heart has always been to do my best for all my students. This is a profession that touches so many lives and one that I am proud to be a part of. What we do each and every day is so important and gratifying. My passion is and always will be in our youth and their future. Todd Chessmore Superintendent Cody-Kilgore Unified Schools

Kirk Crawley Assistant Elementary Principal North Park Elementary – Broken Bow Public Schools I look forward to staying in Broken Bow. The com-munity and schools have been a great place to work and live these past 34 years.

Carl Dietz Superintendent Ogallala Public Schools My 36 years as a Nebraska Educator/Administrator have passed quickly, and I will look back with fond memories. I want to say thank you to the friends, mentors and fellow educators who have helped make this an exceptionally rewarding experience. Thanks gang! BTW, I’m not retiring, just redirecting. Scott Dodson Principal Woodland Park Elementary – Norfolk Public Schools I have been blessed to have worked with such talented staff in the schools I have been in over the past years, and NCSA members and staff have been a great inspiration and support in my years as an administrator. The words of Terrence Deal does a good job of summing up my thoughts as I reflect on a career in education: “Significance comes from working with others, doing something worth doing, make the world better.” Public education is in good hands with all of you, and I wish you the best.


RETIREMENT Dennis Dolliver Assistant Principal/AD Norfolk Sr. High School – Norfolk Public Schools I would like to thank everyone for the support and camaraderie over all my years in education. I had the privilege to work with great people and great communities!! The students and athletes have always been a pleasure to work with – I have been blessed to be a part of a lot throughout my career. Watching kids grow into young adults and seeing success during and after graduation from high school has been a highlight. I know that I selected the correct profession for me – I loved every minute – I truly thought I had the best job ever and got paid to do it. Fred Evans Principal Pershing Elementary – Lexington Public Schools Having come here 21 years ago, I have thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative atmosphere and esprit de corps from around the State. This would include working with students, staff, other administrators, parents, community, and our Region IV principals. My wife and I will be leaving the State to be with our sons in Boise, Idaho. We extend an open door invitation for visits from you, should you travel that way. Good Luck Always! Ron Foster Principal Hemingford Elementary School Education has been very rewarding to me. Continue to do what is best for the kids.

Gordon Goodman Elementary Principal Burwell Public Schools


Kathy Grossnicklaus Special Education Director O’Neill Public Schools Enjoy the journey! It goes by so quickly. Gale Hamilton Executive Director of Development & Secondary Operations Fremont Public Schools Marlene Hartman Business Manager Schuyler Community Schools I’ve enjoyed working at SCS these last 15 years and especially belonging to NASBO. What a great organization. I’ve learned so much from all my fellow Business Managers. Keep up the good work! Dr. Jody Isernhagen Associate Professor University of Nebraska–Lincoln Over the past 46 years, I have come to realize how very fortunate I have been to have chosen education as my life’s work. I have had the wonderful opportunity to teach in Washington, D.C.; North Carolina, Alabama, Seoul Korea, Virginia, and Nebraska in both public and private schools as well as the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. I have worked with many wonderful colleagues, teachers, students and parents who have been willing to share their expertise and provided opportunities for me to connect with them in special ways. To each of them, I will always be grateful. A special “Thank You” to NCSA for their leadership, guidance, and support during my many years in Nebraska. Brent Jeffers Principal Central Elementary – Sidney Public Schools I would like to thank NAESP for the wonderful support and encouragement that I have received over these past 25 years as a principal here in Sidney. I would like to wish my colleagues the very best as they continue being involved in the greatest profession in the world.

Dr. Nancy Johnston Director or Secondary Education Millard Public Schools I have been so very blessed with an amazing journey and career in the field of education for 38 years – the past 28 with Millard Public Schools and 10 years prior to those in Illinois. As a teacher, assistant principal and principal at the elementary level, principal at the middle level, and as Director of Secondary Education, I have had the opportunity to learn from so many strong, talented role models who are colleagues and friends and are far too many to mention – but, if we have worked together in any capacity, please know I think of you fondly, as educators you always hold a special place in my heart! As administrators, aim to do what is best for students, maintain your passion for teaching and learning, believe that all students can learn and grow, collaborate with others while searching for whatever it takes until each student reaches his or her highest potential, provide support for staff to make goals come true, and always take time to build capacity in others, as they will lead well into the future. Enjoy each and every day and remember to be thankful for the opportunity to impact teachers and students in your leadership role! Dr. Dave Jones Superintendent Emerson-Hubbard Public Schools

Susan Kelley Principal Willowdale Elementary – Millard Public Schools It’s been a great ride! I have enjoyed 41 years in education in Millard, Iowa, Utah, and California – the last 14 as principal in Millard. Enjoy what you do – and do what you enjoy!

RETIREMENT Jim Larson Principal IDEAL Alternative School – Papillion La Vista Community Schools The opportunity to spend a career serving young people and working with the teachers and administrators who dedicate themselves to helping students succeed and to find some small ways to help families and students reach their goals has been rewarding. To be able to do what one loves and be able to do it alongside good people makes for a satisfying way to spend a career. To be able to build relationships in this calling and have the support of family along the way and see my children find joy and success in this career is a real validation that it has been worth the ride. Thanks and God Bless to all who made these 38 years worthwhile. Russ Lechtenberg Superintendent West Boyd Schools

Bob Marks Superintendent Bloomfield Community Schools/Wausa Public Schools It has been a fast 43 years in various careers starting with teaching for 21 years, high school principal for 10 years, K-12 principal and superintendent for 3 years and the last 12 years as superintendent for Bloomfield and Wausa. Each time I moved up, responsibilities became greater and greater. My greatest challenge was superintendent for both Bloomfield and Wausa. I can honestly say that at no time did I ever dislike my job. Bill McCoy Director of Custodial Services & Transportation CTS – Lincoln Public Schools

Kyle McGowan Superintendent Crete Public Schools I believe one of the greatest honors an individual can be given is the responsibility of educating a parent’s son or daughter. Nebraska is blessed with great public schools and great schools don’t happen without exceptional leadership. I’ve always been proud to say I’m a Nebraska School Administrator. Nancy Meyer Director of Student Services ESU #6 Having been a member of NCSA since 1980, I have many fond memories of NASES, Administrators’ Days and countless other NCSA events. I learned something at each and every one and the bonus was that I made dear friends and met valuable contacts. I was on the Executive Board when Mike Dulaney was hired and it has been a pleasure to work with him over the years; I will miss seeing him just as I will miss discussing all things Husker with Dan Ernst. Over my career, I have seen NCSA continually grow as an organization that positively influences education in Nebraska through legislation and professional development. I am looking forward to becoming an active member of NARSA so I can remain part of NCSA. Dr.Terry Neddenriep Principal Clinton Elementary – Lincoln Public Schools It has been my privilege to serve schools and support students at Guide Rock, Southeast Consolidated, Bradshaw, and for the past 26 years, Lincoln Public Schools. I look forward to the continued successes of our public school systems.

Dr. Mark Olson Curriculum Director Milford Public Schools I can’t imagine doing more satisfying work than school administration. At the core of that work are the relationships built while pursuing a common purpose. So to all of the educators across our state, especially those in the NCSA family, I say thanks for what you do. Cyndi Reed Principal/District ELL Administrator Sunset Hills Elementary – Westside Community Schools It has been an honor and blessing to serve the students, staff, and parents of Westside Community Schools over the past 30 years. Many thanks to the NCSA and all of my Region 2 colleagues, for your ongoing support in the education of our youth! Jo Roberts Principal Grant Elementary – Norfolk Public Schools It has been a privilege to work with so many amazing Nebraska administrators. I have enjoyed learning from each of you. Thank you for continuing to focus on doing what is good for the students in Nebraska. Laurel Roth Principal Wood River Elementary School – Wood River Rural School You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution. — Maiers Jenise Straight Director of Special Services/HR ESU #9


RETIREMENT Michelle Suarez Principal Everett Elementary – Lincoln Public Schools It has been my privilege and honor to serve students and families at four elementary schools over the course of 34 years. A strong educational foundation changes lives. Best wishes to all who continue to give heroic efforts to ensure a quality education for all students. Kathy Szczepaniak Principal Bell Elementary – Papillion-La Vista Community Schools I have been fortunate in being surrounded by outstanding professionals all of my career. I believe educators are extremely dedicated to their profession and show compassion for all children. Thank you to all I have encountered over the past 32 years, and never underestimate the power you have to influence the lives of your students! Dr. Susette Taylor Principal Irving Middle School – Lincoln Public Schools This year marks my 39th year since beginning my career as a science teacher. During this time I’ve had the opportunity to work in multiple positions in middle schools, high school and college settings, as well as in the private sector in the selection and development of people. As much as I have enjoyed each step of the journey, being the principal of Irving has been my greatest privilege. In my career at LPS I’ve appreciated the encouragement and collegiality of people among schools, departments, and positions at all levels, providing support to individuals, to schools, to students and families. It’s an incredible network that ensures the growth and development of all our students. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve in the district.


Karla Tinius Associate Principal Lincoln North Star High School – Lincoln Public Schools For the past 38 years I have had the privilege to teach with amazing colleagues at Ruth Hill, Brownell, Campbell, and to open North Star as an administrator. It was a difficult decision to leave a profession that I am so very proud of, and quite honestly have worked my whole life for, but I am excited to turn on the ‘after-burners’ and ‘enjoy the orbit’ as I enter this new chapter of my life. To so many, thank you so very much for your support, friendship and dedication. I am grateful and proud to have been a part of Lincoln Public Schools and a profession that truly shapes lives. Chris Vieyra Director of Special Services North Platte Public Schools It has indeed been a pleasure to have been a member of such a dedicated professional organization! I have been a member of both NAESP and NASES for the past eight years. I appreciated the support from colleagues and will cherish the friendships I have made. After my 41 years in education as an SLP, Principal and member of a Central Office team, I look forward to time with my husband and family to do whatever we want, whenever we want! I feel so blessed and thankful for all of the memories I have from my time with students, coworkers, and parents! Thank you NCSA! Dr. Rob Winter Superintendent Grand Island School District It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have served the students of Nebraska. During my tenure in this state I have worked with a number of incredible educators and they have all taught me a great deal. To those individuals, you have my sincere gratitude.

Ron Wymore Superintendent Pleasanton Public Schools I have enjoyed my 28 years as an administrator in Pleasanton, yet I look forward to retirement and the extra time I will get to spend with my wife, kids and grandchildren. I wish everyone the best of luck in the coming years and hope that Nebraska can maintain the high quality of education that our children deserve. NCSA is a great organization and does a fantastic job in helping administrators and in keeping our senators well informed.

Please note: The NCSA staff made every effort to include all those individuals who responded to our request for information on retirements.

Not pictured, but also retiring: Kent Bray Assistant Principal/AD La Vista Jr High – Papillion-La Vista Community Schools Russ Freeman Superintendent Lakeview Community Schools Deeann Goeser Instructional Research Administrator Omaha Public Schools Candy Weaver Bookkeeper Southern Valley Schools


Street Named CASE Outstanding Administrator


ohn Street, Director of Special Education at ESU 10, was awarded the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) Outstanding Administrator on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at its annual conference held in St. Louis. The award recognizes individuals making significant professional contributions to leadership behavior and field practice in the administration of programs for students with disabilities and/or who are gifted. Nebraska has only had one other award winner in the 30 years this award has been celebrated. John has served in many capacities over the years, while keeping the most important focus in sight—the students. He started as a special education teacher and quickly advanced as a leader in the field. The confidence others have in his leadership is exemplified by how frequently members in the Nebraska Association of Special Education Supervisors have leaned on him for support and guidance.

For any of us who know or are fortunate enough to work with John, we know this award is well deserved. He has been an outstanding leader for those of us in the special education department and has had a profound impact on students with disabilities in central Nebraska. His worked has shaped how we do business and will continue that impact long in to the future. n John Street

NATIONAL CONVENTION DATES NAESP – July 6-8, 2016 – National Harbor, MD ASBO – September 23-26, 2016 – Phoenix, AZ CASE/NASDSE – September 25-27, 2016 – Milwaukee, WI AASA – March 2-4, 2017 – New Orleans, LA ASCD – March 25-27, 2017 – Anaheim, CA

40 Years Later (continued from page 6) How often do we really listen to students? How often do we ask them what they need or how they feel? This is something we should do more often. Listening to the LEAD Team, we are truly at an amazing time in special education and in education in general. Through listening to students, parents, and teachers, we have an opportunity to improve results rather than just access. But, by building rela-

tionships and working together, we can continue to tear down the barriers that students with disabilities are facing. We can continue to champion the ideals of IDEA by focusing on what really counts, results, in the areas of equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for students with disabilities. n



NSASSP Announces 2016-17 Nebraska High School Principal of the Year


he Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals is proud to recognize Jay Dostal, Principal of Kearney High School, as the Nebraska High School Principal of the Year for 2016-17. Dr. Jay Dostal has been selected to represent Nebraska as the High School Principal of the Year. He will travel to Washington D.C. in September where he will be under consideration with his peers for National High School Principal of the Year. Jay received his Bachelor of Arts in Education Degree in 2001 from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Master of Science Degree in Secondary Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2004, and his Doctoral Degree from UNO in 2011. Dr. Dostal is currently in his sixth year as the Principal for Kearney High School. He also served as an Assistant Principal at Millard North for four years and a teacher at Millard West for five years. Dr. Dostal has made several significant contributions to the profession. At the top of the list is taking a lead positon to provide a framework for systematically improving the graduation rate at Kearney High School. After four years of hard work and providing interventions for at-risk students to help them stay on track, the graduation rate rose by almost eight percent. Other schools have used Kearney High as a model to help increase their own graduation rates. Dr. Virginia Moon, Superintendent of Kearney Public Schools, states, “Dr. Dostal is a visionary leader who gets things done. He

has been instrumental in the process of transforming the KHS educational model with the development of Small Learning Communities. He has worked tirelessly to establish advisory teams for career fields which actively involves over 180 business partners. Since arriving at Kearney High, he has increased our Advanced Placement/College Credit courses by 300%, implemented a 1:1 Chromebook Initiative, started Project Lead the Dr. Jay Dostal Way, and raised our graduation rate from 84.1% to 93.86% in four short years.” Robert Mishou, a teacher at Kearney High School, commented, “As a teacher at Kearney High School, I could not ask for a better, more effective principal. Dr. Dostal is an understanding principal who consistently listens to teacher concerns and gives all teachers a true voice in the school. He is a well-informed instructional leader who uses research based information in offering suggestions and guidance to teachers and opportunities for staff development.” n

NCSA is excited to again host a day of health screenings being offered by the EHA at the 2016 Administrators' Days. Onsite screenings will be FREE to employees on the EHA wellness plan through BCBS of Nebraska and at a reduced cost to non-plan employees.

The screenings are provided by Life Line Screening and will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2016. To register, go to and sign up now! Appointments can only be booked through this link on a first-come first-served basis. Questions? Email 12 NCSA TODAY SUMMER 2016


NSASSP Announces 2016-17 Nebraska Middle School Principal of the Year


he Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals is proud to recognize Sheri Chittenden, Principal of Paxton Consolidated Schools, as the Nebraska Middle School Principal of the Year for 2016-17. Mrs. Sheri Chittenden received her Bachelors Degree in education from Kearney State College in 1982 and her Masters Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2004 and is currently in her 12th year as the Secondary Principal and Activities Director at Paxton. Sheri has been a leader for her school and the surrounding area. She has served on many external review teams for school improvement. In her own school, she has led an initiative called ACCESS (Achieve, Commit, Complete, Excel, Study, Succeed) which is a 20-minute daily study period where students in grades 7-12 are divided into 10 cross age groups where older students in each group are matched with younger students in a mentor/mentee relationship. The ACCESS period is designed to provide time and support for homework completion and has reduced the down list by 50%. Delbert Dack, Superintendent of Paxton Consolidated Schools, states, “Mrs. Chittenden is a leader within our school system. She

constantly looks for ways in which our school can be a meaningful and opportunistic place for students. She wants students to succeed in all areas of life and will implement necessary programs in school to make this happen.” Deb Meyer, a school counselor and teacher at Paxton Consolidated Schools, indicated, “If you were to visit with parents and local business organizations around our community, you Sheri Chittenden would find that Sheri is a local hero as she is someone who has helped to create a learning environment where there is very high staff morale, great community support, and a goal for educational excellence that is second to none.” n

2016 Administrators’ Days Social Events - Thursday, July 28, 2016

Administrators in Action

NCSA Trivia Night

4:30 pm, Betty’s Trail Get moving after a day indoors and donate to Make-A-Wish Nebraska all at the same time by signing up for Administrators in Action. Blue Cross Blue Shield will sponsor every person that walks Betty’s Trail, from Younes to Yanny and back with all proceeds going to fund wishes. All walkers receive a t-shirt, so sign up and get walking!

Platte Valley Social

6:00 pm, Downtown Platte Valley Brewery is a brewery focused on creating beers for all tastes. Hop on the 6:00 bus at the Holiday Inn and ride downtown to enjoy beer tastings and pizza. Remember the fun when you get home with your Platte Valley Pint Glass. Pre-registration is required at $25 per person.

Family Fun Night!

6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Bring the family over to the Big Apple at 6:30 to bowl, play miniature golf, and ballocity. You also receive a ticket for a large single topping pizza and drink pitcher for the family. Pre-registration is required at $45 per family.

8:00 pm to 11:30 pm You don’t need to be a trivia buff to join in and have fun at the NCSA Trivia Night. With a bar in the room and our very own Mark Johnson and Sam Stecher hosting, you’re sure to have a great time, even if your table doesn’t win the grand prize. The game will kickoff at 8:30, so don’t be late!

Visit to register or add any of these events! SUMMER 2016 NCSA TODAY 13


NCSA to Hold Charity Walk for Make-A-Wish Nebraska


CSA is excited to again host Administrators in Action, a charity walk during Administrators’ Days, this year to benefit Make-A-Wish Nebraska. On Thursday, July 28, each person who walks will have money donated to Make-A-Wish Nebraska on their behalf by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. Participants will also receive a commemorative shirt to show their participation and support of Make-A-Wish Nebraska. Make-A-Wish Nebraska grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy!

Wishes Wishes are granted to children between the ages of 2 1/2 and not yet 18 who medically qualify for a wish. Make-A-Wish has a unique purpose. They listen to the quiet whispers and dreams of these special children and then make their wishes come true. Fear and fatigue are pushed aside by excitement that bubbles out in giggles and shy smiles. They replace riding in wheelchairs with traveling in stretch limousines. Doctor’s visits give way to a command performance by their favorite characters. Whatever their minds can conceive and hearts can dream, Make-A-Wish does their best to make reality. Our History In 1980, a seven-year-old-boy from Phoenix, named Chris Grecius, realized his lifelong wish to become a police officer. Many of those responsible for fulfilling Christopher’s wish wanted to do the same for other children with life-threatening medical conditions, which led to the formation of Make-A-Wish®, the largest wish-granting charity in the world with 62 chapters in the U.S. and its territories and 39 international affiliates granting over 270,000 wishes since inception. The Nebraska chapter was formed in 1983, and since then has


granted wishes to over 2,400 children throughout the state, now averaging 110-115 wishes per year. 350+ volunteers help spread and support our mission across the entire state, with our headquarter office in Omaha and satellite offices in Lincoln and Kearney. Funding Funding comes through donations from individuals, businesses, fundraising events, charitable trusts, bequests, and foundations. Make-A-Wish Nebraska is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an annual budget close to $3 million a year. Program costs account for 85% of every dollar, and the money raised in Nebraska helps grant Nebraska wishes. We host a number of fundraising events throughout the year for individuals and businesses to get involved including Blue Jean Ball, Kearney Dinner and Auction, Wish Ball: A Night with Oscar, Holiday Gift Wrap and Wishes in Flight. There are also a number of wonderful companies and organizations that conduct fundraising events throughout the year to benefit Make-A-Wish! Volunteers Volunteers are always welcome and make it possible for us to carry out our mission. Over 350 registered volunteers work tirelessly to help grant wishes, create memory albums, decorate hotels, help in the office and organize fundraisers all while sharing our mission. For additional information about Administrators’ in Action on Thursday, July 28, and to register, visit n


Many students are taking longer to graduate from college, resulting in additional debt and delaying the start of their careers. That’s why the University of Nebraska created Commit to Complete, a program to help college students get their degrees sooner, save money—and get their lives started.

See how your school can get involved at


NCSA Election Results BY DR. MIKE DULANEY, Executive Director; and DR. DAN ERNST, Associate Executive Director





he Nebraska Council of School Administrators is pleased to recognize our new president-elects for the 2016-2017 year. Each affiliate president-elect is selected by their peers through the affiliate election process. We thank you for taking the time to vote and encourage you to always participate in election process of your affiliate. It is a great honor to have been voted into office by your professional colleagues. We are very fortunate to have highly qualified and successful school administrators that are willing to run for leadership positions within their affiliates. We salute all those individuals that were willing to accept a nomination to have their name on a ballot. Your affiliates remain strong because of quality administrators willing to lead. In addition to the new role within their affiliate associations, we would also like to welcome the president-elects to membership on the NCSA Executive Board, our organization’s governing body. The new executive board members are well qualified to serve and begin their official term on the NCSA Executive Board on September 1, 2016. We look forward to their participation on the board and guidance of the organization.



We congratulate and welcome our new President-Elects: NASA – John Skretta, Norris School Dist 160 NAESP – Jason Calahan, Hershey Public Schools NSASSP – Brandon Mowinkel, Milford Public Schools NASBO – Brad Dahl, Fremont Public Schools NASES – Jason Harris, Columbus Public Schools In addition, at the May 25, 2016 NCSA Board Meeting, elections were held for the 2016-2017 board leadership positions. We are excited to announce the 2016-2017 Chair and Vice Chair of the NCSA Executive Board: Chair—Jeff Schneider, Hastings Public Schools Vice Chair—Wendy Kemling, Scottsbluff Public Schools n


Administrators’ Days

Younes Conf Center


NASES Fall Workshop

Cornhusker Marriott


Labor Relations NCSA Tailgate School Law Update

Cornhusker Marriott NCSA Holiday Inn

Lincoln Lincoln Kearney

NE Fall Ed Tech Conference NACIA Fall Retreat Emerging Superintendents Workshop

Younes Conf Center Lied Lodge NCSA

Kearney Nebraska City Lincoln


SEPTEMBER 7-8 17 21

OCTOBER 6-7 6-7 26

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


Gold Sponsorships Ameritas Investment Corp.

EHA Wellness

Dallas Watkins 5900 O Street, 1st Floor Lincoln, NE 68510 800-700-2362

Howie Halperin 256 No. 115 Street, Ste. 7 Omaha, NE 68154 402-614-0491



Daniel Beatty 605 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001 970-391-1550

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

Boyd Jones Construction

First National Capital Markets

Mark Pfister 333 So. 9th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 402-318-4794

Craig Jones 1620 Dodge Street, Ste. 1104 Omaha, NE 68197 402-598-1218

D.A. Davidson & Co.

Great Plains Safety and Health Organization

Humanex Ventures Katie Lechner 2900 So. 70th Street, Ste. 100 Lincoln, NE 68506 402-486-1102

Insuring Success Family Heritage Product Provider

National Planning Corporation Brian Luther 500 Central Park Drive, Ste. 204 Lincoln, NE 68504 402-467-0531

Nebraska Liquid Asset Fund

Ty Christensen 12117 Grover Street Omaha, NE 68144 402-960-5387

Barry Ballou 455 So. 11th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 402-705-0350

John Baylor Prep

Nebraska Safety Center

John Baylor P.O. Box 30792 Lincoln, NE 68503 402-475-7737

Mick Anderson West Center, 220E Kearney, NE 68849 308-865-9393 safety_center

Modern Images Paul Grieger 1111 No. 102nd Court, Ste. 300 Omaha, NE 68114 800-942-7557

Mick Anderson Rm 220E WSTC—UNK Campus 1917 W. 24th Street Kearney, NE 68849 308-865-8258

DLR Group Curtis Johnson 6457 Frances Street, Ste 200 Omaha, NE 68106 402-393-4100

Horace Mann Cindy Dornbush 10612 Monroe Street, No. 4 Omaha, NE 68127 402-680-9382

Bradley Cooper 13436 So. 217th Street Gretna, NE 68028 402-991-7786

TRANE Dave Raymond 5720 So. 77th Street Ralston, NE 68127 402-452-7762

National Insurance Steve Ott 9202 W. Dodge Road, Ste. 302 Omaha, NE 68114 800-627-3660

Unanimous Will Hays 8600 Executive Woods, Ste. 300 Lincoln, NE 68512 402-423-5447

Wells Fargo

Bronze Sponsorships Kearney Visitors Bureau

University of Nebraska High School

Sarah Focke | PO Box 607 | Kearney, NE 68848 800-652-9435 |

Charlotte Seewald | 1520 N. 20th Circle | Lincoln, NE 68588 402-472-1922 |

Heather Kudron 1919 Douglas Street Omaha, NE 68102 402-536-2090

Silver Sponsorships Awards Unlimited


Larry King 1935 O Street Lincoln, NE 68510 402-474-0815

Reid Brakke 12100 W. Center Road Omaha, NE 68144 1-855-733-0330

NE Public Agency Investment Trust Candi Sanders P.O. Box 82529 Lincoln, NE 68501 402-323-1334

Renaissance Learning

Software Unlimited, Inc.

Heather Roth 2911 Peach Street Wisconsin Rapids, WI 55494 800-338-4204 ext. 4712

Corey Atkinson 5015 S. Broadband Lane Sioux Falls, SD 57108 605-361-2073


Nebraska Council of School Administrators 455 So. 11th Street, Suite A • Lincoln, NE 68508-2105 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

Plan to attend the

2016 ADMINISTRATORS’ DAYS July 27-29, 2016 Younes Conference Center | Kearney, Nebraska For more information and to register online: Featured Speakers:

Ashley Rhodes-Courter

Dr. Chris Emdin

Mark Sharenbroich

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