Lincoln Southeast Principal Brent Toalson received the Ron Joekel Leadership Award Sunday night at Launch Leadership’s Fire and Fuzzies banquet. The award recognizes an educator who is a champion of youth leadership development in the classroom and community.
Toalson was nominated and selected to receive the award based on his long-time dedication to promoting youth leadership during his 15-year tenure as the student council sponsor at Lincoln Southeast and as an administrator at Lincoln High and Southeast. During his time teaching at LSE, Toalson developed leadership curriculum that allowed students to take a leadership class. He’s helped shape the lives of countless students and gave them the opportunity to unlock their leadership skills and use their talents to make their schools and communities a better place.
“When I became a teacher at LSE about 25 years ago, I knew that I wanted to ‘pay it forward’ and help students develop their leadership talents, just like others had helped me when I was a student,” Toalson said during his acceptance speech. “I have great respect for Dr. Joekel and his vision for youth leadership development. I also have great respect for the work Launch does to help our youth develop into confident, positive and reflective leaders.”
The award is named for Ron Joekel, a long-time educator who taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for more than 40 years and was instrumental in the development and growth of Launch’s Summer Leadership Workshop. He served as the director of the Nebraska Association of Student Council for 20 years, the national president of Phi Delta Kappa and on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators.
Launch Leadership originated as a volunteer organization back in 1976. It promotes and develops youth leadership through an annual five-day summer workshop in Wayne, Neb., and dozens of year-round services all over Nebraska. Launch is based in Lincoln with more than 200 members across the United States.
Published: September 1, 2015, Updated: September 2, 2015