Thank You Teacher winners announced for 2018

Lincoln High School student Samantha Roblyer says of Deborah McGinn, one of her teachers at Lincoln High: “She gave me a safe place to grow my confidence and to break out of the shell that I had built around myself … She has also taught me some very important things about how to live life. She has taught me that it’s ok to be who you are even if that person is just a bit quirky at times.”

Anycia DuBray-Bivens, now a fourth-grader at Belmont Elementary School, describes Tim Oehring, her previous teacher at Saratoga Elementary School:  “Mr. O is the best teacher ever.  He makes kids think that school is fun. He helped me to know that I am smart … He is my hero, he’s my batman, he’s my super teacher.”

These students – and more – were selected to honor this year’s winning teachers at the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher breakfast ceremony, held Tuesday as part of Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day activities. There were more than 550 entries this year.

Julian Romo Gonzalez, a kindergartner at Kooser Elementary School, has a special type of speech issue – and his mom, Lauren Cochran, wrote about kindergarten teacher Andrea Woita: “You can see the passion she has for her job and all her little friends every day by their little smiling faces … It’s a great feeling knowing that when I drop him off at school every day, he is in the care of someone that is patient, kind, loving, goofy, exciting and just happy.”

Irving Middle School science teacher Molly Hoffmann was nominated by former student Thea Lahey, now at Lincoln High: “I learned to love science in your class, and you gave me the chance to exceed my own expectations of how academically inclined I was.  You sparked an interest of science in me, and showed me that a strong woman can be passionate about science and succeed.”

And the entire staff at Lakeview Elementary School nominated retired Lakeview counselor Lynn White in the retired category: “Lynn was so successful because she demonstrated the kind of warmth that made everyone instantly feel at home.  Her laugh and smile were infectious and always came at the perfect time. She had the special ability to make everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room and was eager to help in any way she could.”

This year’s Thank You Teacher awards went to:

  •       Preschool-Grade 2:  Andrea Woita, Kooser Elementary School; nominated by Julian Romo Gonzalez, Kooser.
  •       Grades 3-5:  Tim Oehrig, Saratoga Elementary School; nominated by Anycia DuBray-Bivens, Belmont Elementary School.
  •       Middle School: Molly Hoffmann, Irving Middle School; nominated by Thea Lahey, Lincoln High School.
  •       High School: Deborah McGinn, Lincoln High School; nominated by Samantha Roblyer, Lincoln High.
  •       Retired: Lynn White, former counselor at Lakeview Elementary School; nominated by Lakeview staff.   

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

Highlights from when the teachers found out they were nominated and won. Video from the ceremony is coming soon.

Published: March 6, 2018, Updated: March 6, 2018