Fredstrom teacher Rochelle Settles wins prestigious Scottish Rite Award

When the Fredstrom Elementary School students gathered in the gym on Friday afternoon, they were met by special guests from the Lincoln Public Schools District Office and members from the local chapter of the Scottish Rite organization.

“We have a really special announcement today that we want to share with you,” explained Eric Weber, LPS association superintendent of Human Resources. “Every year we surprise and award one teacher in Lincoln Public School that really stands out with the Scottish Rite Award, and the one teacher we are going to recognize is here today.”

In 1964, the local chapter of Scottish Rite developed the education committee to recognize excellent classroom teachers, and help make the public aware of the vital role a classroom teacher plays in educating youth. The recipient of the award also receives a check for $10,000 from the organization.

As Weber started reading the winning nomination letter, Fredstrom science teacher Rochelle Settles realized it was describing her.

“When they mentioned an award I previously won, I knew it was me as I was the only one to win that award in our building,” said Settles. “I am very grateful. There are a lot of great teachers at Lincoln Public Schools that work just as hard or harder than I do.”

Settles has taught in Lincoln Public Schools for 26 years, all at Fredstrom Elementary. She was a resource teacher, then a classroom teacher followed by being a Science specialist. Settles has also been instrumental in organizing the annual city-wide science fair for many years. Settles received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2019.

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, even when I was in elementary school because I liked my teachers,” added Settles. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in education throughout the years, and in particular in science. We need students in the field of science. We have a lot of issues we need solving. It’s my job to promote science and do the best I can.”

Fredstrom principal Cheryl Richter wrote “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. She is an amazingly dedicated educator, not only for Fredstrom students but students all over Lincoln.”

Settles will be honored again during a special event in the fall at LPS District Office, where she’ll be featured along with past winners on an interactive display located outside the boardroom.

Published: May 13, 2022, Updated: May 13, 2022

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, even when I was in elementary school because I liked my teachers."

Rochelle Settles, 2022 Scottish Rite Award Winner