Three world language teachers named best in the state

Three Lincoln Public Schools world language teachers have been honored as the best in the state. The Nebraska International Languages Association (NILA) honored the following LPS educators last semester:

  • Jami Holbein Swanson of Lincoln North Star High School was named the 2019 Spanish Teacher of the Year. In her nomination letter, North Star French teacher Cara Heminger said this about Holbein Swanson: “Her talents include connecting with students, bringing Spanish culture to life, and managing work groups to get the maximum amount of outcome in the minimum amount of time...She is a deep thinker, a lifelong learner, a well-liked teacher, and a valued friend and colleague to all of her colleagues in Lincoln Public Schools.”
  • Sasha Van Zandt from Lincoln Southwest High School was named the 2019 French Teacher of the Year. Lisa Maupin, a French teacher at Lincoln East High School, said the following about Van Zandt in her nomination letter: “Sasha Van Zandt is one of the most dedicated teachers I know, and always thinks of her students first. She works tirelessly for their benefit, creating new and exciting activities in the classroom, pushing them in their linguistic skills and opening up in them a love for the language and culture.”
  • Kelleen Browning, a German teacher at Lincoln Southeast High School, won the 2019 New Language Teacher of the Year Award, which recognizes someone who shows great promise during their first five years of teaching. Southeast French teacher Krisen Tangen said this about her colleague in her nomination letter: “Kelleen blends both historical and modern culture into her classes, and cleverly uses technology both for research and communication. Her students are continually collaborating and interacting, both in written and oral interpersonal communication…I have observed her classroom, and it is evident that students know the expectations, so they are on task, but they are also comfortable and happy being in that class.”

NILA announced the winners at its fall conference. They also are scheduled to be honored at the Feb. 11 Lincoln Board of Education meeting.

Published: January 24, 2020, Updated: January 24, 2020

L to R: Jami Holbein Swanson, Kelleen Browning and Sasha Van Zandt