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Educators honored at ‘Thank You Teacher’ ceremony

Award winner Angie Stahl, special education teacher at Holmes Elementary School, standing with...
Award winner Angie Stahl, special education teacher at Holmes Elementary School, standing with LPS Superintendent Dr. Steve Joel.(Lincoln Public Schools)
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 2:29 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Five educators were selected from more than 500 written nominations to be honored as part of the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher celebration, which asks both current and former students throughout the community to write about how a favorite teacher impacted their lives. It’s held in conjunction with Nebraska Teacher Appreciation Day, which was Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the winning educators and their nominating students were formally recognized during a breakfast reception at the Governor’s Mansion. On hand for this special event were family, friends, colleagues, LPS administrators, members of the Lincoln Board of Education and representatives from the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools.

Students read their nominating letters aloud, followed by remarks from the winning educators.

Here are this year’s winners, as well as portions of comments from those who nominated them.

PreK–second grade

Melissa Christensen, first-grade teacher, Kooser Elementary School

Nominated by Abby Roth, now a Schoo seventh-grade student

Melissa Christensen, first-grade teacher, Kooser Elementary School was nominated by Abby Roth,...
Melissa Christensen, first-grade teacher, Kooser Elementary School was nominated by Abby Roth, now a Schoo seventh-grade student.(Lincoln Public Schools)

Said Roth: “Mrs. Christensen really opened my eyes about how kids can really make a difference in our community. Every time I see her outside of school she will aways stop and take time to talk to me. She has really made a difference in my life and I will always remember her and she is someone that should get appreciated greatly. I hope that she never stops teaching and never stops showing kids how much of a difference they can make in our community and in our schools. Thank you, Mrs. Christensen, for changing my life.”

Third–fifth grade

Angie Stahl, special education teacher, Holmes Elementary School

Nominated by Rose Lorenz, fifth-grade student and Grandma Donna Woudenberg

Angie Stahl, special education teacher, Holmes Elementary School was nominated by Rose Lorenz,...
Angie Stahl, special education teacher, Holmes Elementary School was nominated by Rose Lorenz, fifth-grade student and Grandma Donna Woudenberg.(Lincoln Public Schools)

Said Lorenz and her grandma: “I have Spina Bifida. Walking is a big challenge for me. I wear leg braces and use forearm crutches in the classroom, a walker for short distances, or my wheelchair for longer distances. I also have learning challenges … Mrs. Stahl is an amazing teacher and an amazing person. She is kind, compassionate, patient and loving. She has always been there for me and for my family. I know that no matter what goes on during the day, I can always count on Mrs. Stahl to help me and guide me in the right direction. Mrs. Stahl not only teaches me in her classroom, but she also teaches me and helps me understand what is right and good.”

Middle school

Sarah Roehl, counselor, Dawes Middle School

Nominated by Zoe Ingram, eighth-grade student at Dawes

Sarah Roehl, counselor, Dawes Middle School was nominated by Zoe Ingram, eighth-grade student...
Sarah Roehl, counselor, Dawes Middle School was nominated by Zoe Ingram, eighth-grade student at Dawes.(Lincoln Public Schools)

Said Ingram: “She is so special to me and I couldn’t have made it through some of the things I did without her. I have no idea where I will be in the future but I will always thank her for getting me through the worst times of my life. There are so many times I remember that I would be having a horrible day or I had a hard morning or night before and she would for just a couple minutes or seconds make me forget that I’m having a hard time. There were times I would just go sit in her room and completely break down or I would rant but there were other times I would just talk and she would listen and other times we would just laugh.”

High school

Brent Noser, music teacher, Lincoln High School

Nominated by Lincoln High School student Zeph Siebler and 43 others

Brent Noser, music teacher, Lincoln High School was nominated by Lincoln High School student...
Brent Noser, music teacher, Lincoln High School was nominated by Lincoln High School student Zeph Siebler and 43 others.(Lincoln Public Schools)

Said Siebler: “Mr. Noser not only gives kids who are having troubles a place to belong, he looks at each of us, asks us what we want to do, what we need to do to do that, and does his best to get us that. In addition, he is good at identifying what we need even if we don’t see it: a place to eat lunch, music to express what we can’t express in words, and a tribe to belong to. When I am a teacher, I want to be the kind of teacher Mr. Noser is. By offering the world of music and a community of peers to each student, especially those at the margins, Mr. Noser genuinely enhances and saves lives. We are better humans because of his work.”

Retired

Sue Hedrick, retired LPS teacher

Nominated by Hope DaCosta-Schlitz, second-grade teacher at Rousseau Elementary School

Sue Hedrick, retired LPS teacher
was nominated by Hope DaCosta-Schlitz, second-grade teacher at...
Sue Hedrick, retired LPS teacher was nominated by Hope DaCosta-Schlitz, second-grade teacher at Rousseau Elementary School.(Lincoln Public Schools)

Said DaCosta-Schlitz: “My name is Hope DaCosta-Schiltz and I am in my 12th year of teaching second grade in LPS. A product of LPS, I attended Pershing, Mickle and Northeast High School. It fills me with a tremendous sense of pride and gratitude to be giving back to the community that gave so much to me … A quote that really captures the two years I spent with Mrs. Hedrick (She was my first-grade teacher and fifth-grade teacher) comes from Carl Buechner: ‘They may forget what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel.’ Every day was filled with fun in Mrs. Hedrick’s class. While I am certain she used highly effective, research-based strategies and the activities had 100% of students engaged, most importantly she made me feel safe, loved and so incredibly special.”

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