Air Force Association honors Mickle teacher for classroom excellence

A Mickle Middle School teacher is flying high after earning a statewide teaching award from the Air Force Association’s (AFA) Nebraska Chapter.

The AFA named Science Teacher Katie Hammond its Nebraska Teacher of the Year and recognized her during a ceremony at the school Sept. 26. The award honors a K-12 teacher for their classroom accomplishments and for inspiring students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses.

“It’s a unique opportunity to reward teachers who further excellence and make coming to class an adventure,” said Diane Bartels, the AFA Lincoln Chapter’s vice president of aerospace education and a former teacher at Brownell Elementary School. “I know this word is overused but I just have to say I think Katie Hammond is awesome.”

Hammond thanked her students for helping her win the award.

“This is not about me, it is about the students and their achievements in the classroom,” said Hammond, now in her fourth year of teaching at Mickle. “I could not have done it without their participation and willingness to try new things.”

At the ceremony, AFA representatives presented Hammond with certificates from both the Lincoln and Nebraska chapters, as well as two checks for $500 each that she can spend on teaching supplies. She also received a jacket emblazoned with “Nebraska Teacher of the Year” on the front.

Hammond said she plans on spending the money on numerous classroom projects, including the building of labs to learn about the solar system and growing soybeans this spring to learn about genetics.

As part of her award application, Hammond submitted multiple recommendation letters. In one letter, a mother thanked Hammond for going “above and beyond” to help make science fun for her daughter. In another, a student wrote that she wants to be a teacher now because of Hammond.

LPS Science Curriculum Specialist James Blake was on hand at Mickle to help honor Hammond. “I work with science curriculum across the district and she is definitely a leader,” he said.


Published: September 28, 2017, Updated: September 28, 2017