The Nebraska Speech Communication and Theatre Association (NSCTA) recently honored a Lincoln North Star High School teacher for her dedication and innovation inside the classroom and beyond.
North Star speech and theatre teacher Brenda Broeker accepted the John Thurber Outstanding Educator Award at the NSCTA’s annual convention, held in Norfolk in late September. The award is for those who have been teaching for longer than seven years at the elementary, secondary or university level, and have displayed exceptional teaching ability, innovation in teaching methods and contributions to the growth and professionalism of organizations in speech communications and/or publications.
Broeker said the award has extra meaning because she was nominated by two of her former North Star students who are now teachers: Lexi Gardner, now a teacher at North Star, and Tyler Lambley, who teaches at Lincoln Southeast High School.
“There is such a sense of pride to see our kids become teachers and leaders in this profession and my heart overflowed that they felt me worthy of such an honor,” she said. “They also reached out to other alumni who gave a video tribute. They are all over the United States now and it makes me tear up even now to even think about their faces popping up on the video and sharing such kind words.”
Gardner and Lambley both spoke at the NSCTA convention.
“With seamless grace, she exemplifies what it means to do what is best for students,” Gardner said. “I have always thought if I could reach students in a fraction of the way she reached me, my teaching career would be a success. She is a role model, the kind of teacher I want to be everyday.”
“Finding a community to belong is the main reason why Broeker is worthy of this award,” Lambley said. “She welcomed me day one at North Star and has had me hooked ever since then. I cannot imagine what trajectory my life would be on if I had not been blessed with her as a teacher, mentor, second mom, professional colleague and friend. The ability give back to her, who gives so much, is one of the greatest privileges and honors of my life.”
The award also means a lot, Broeker said, because it’s from her speech, debate and theatre peers across the state.
“They all give so much to their programs and their kids and to have those that ‘know’ what we do find me deserving - there are no words.”
Published: October 30, 2018, Updated: November 7, 2018