Thank You Teacher winners announced for 2017

The surprise announcements

Samuel Segrist

Lincoln Southeast High School sophomore Aaron Bolton said that Southeast English teacher/debate coach Sam Segrist is a teacher who “goes above and beyond for teaching, and clearly cares about the impact, influence and learning that he gives to any student…Being a debate coach and teacher, he allows us all to our own opinions, encourages us in a way that seems to actually inspire…and wants us to develop ourselves rather than be influenced into something we’re not.”

Jeff Williams

Lincoln High School student Kaleb Miller says of his former health and physical education teacher, Jeff Williams at Culler Middle School: “How I live right now is affected by him more than he probably knows…Every time someone does try to use peer pressure on me, I always think of what he said and how disappointed he would be if he knew I did something that could hurt my future.” 

Vickie Neilly

Riley Elementary School teacher Vickie Neilly “was always there for me and loved me no matter what I did,” according to Jackson Okereke – now a student at Lincoln High.  “They say that people will forget what you did, but never how you made them feel and in this case that’s true.”

Kristy Kennedy and Kate Manstedt

And Kloefkorn Elementary School teachers Kristy Kennedy and Kate Manstedt have supported and helped Alexis Verzal – a Kloefkorn student – overcome a variety of challenges to become a successful student and wonderful reader. Parents Brandon and Tiffany Verzal wrote: “This year Alexis hit the jackpot of teachers…We would like to thank these great teachers for seeing the potential in her and never giving up…Thank you for giving us hope again.”

These students were selected to honor this year’s winning teachers – all featured in the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher breakfast ceremony held Tuesday in honor of Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day.  There were more than 500 entries this year.

The event is sponsored by Lincoln Public Schools and KFOR/KFRX radio.

Full Event Video

(16:55 is Vickie Neilly, 22:15 is Kristy Kennedy and Kate Manstedt, 33:20 is Jeff Williams, 39:30 is Samuel Segrist)

Published: March 6, 2017, Updated: March 7, 2017

Thank You Teacher
2017 Honorees

Preschool-Grade 2:  Vickie Neilly, Riley Elementary School teacher; nominated by Jackson Okereke, Lincoln High School.

Grades 3-5:  Kristy Kennedy and Kate Manstedt, Kloefkorn Elementary School teacher; nominated by Alexis Verzal, Kloefkorn.

Middle School: Jeff Williams, Culler Middle School teacher; nominated by Kaleb Miller, Lincoln High School.

High School: Sam Segrist, Lincoln Southeast High School teacher; nominated by Aaron Bolton, Southeast.