Staff Spotlight: Abi Beatty-Counselor in Graduation Pathways

Every week, we’ll shine a spotlight on one Lincoln Public Schools staff member! Get to know the wonderful people making a positive impact across various areas within LPS. This week, meet Abi Beatty, school counselor in the Graduation Pathways program.

“Abi has the most welcoming personality. Her kindness knows no limits and her relationships with our students are a joy to watch. She can laugh with them and have fun, be serious when needed, and they always leave knowing she is rooting for them trying to reach their goal of getting their diploma. Abi is one of a kind and we're so lucky she's ours!” Karrie Mishler, executive secretary in Graduation Pathways.

Briefly describe your role at LPS.
My role is to work with students ages 17-21 who are working to complete their high school diploma. I spend my day coordinating with students, parents and high school staff to ensure student success. When I say I love the work I do, that is an understatement. It's a privilege to work with our impassioned, hardworking and inspiring students. I work hard to recognize the positives in every student, coach them through their academic progress, and I promote having a little fun along the way.

How long have you worked for LPS?
This is my 19th year with LPS.

What inspired you to become part of the education field at LPS?
In most cases, education is a calling. I felt that calling as a young person and was lucky enough to have the support and resources I needed to manifest my wish to become an educator.

What has been your favorite part of working here? What aspect of your job do you find most rewarding?
Broadly speaking, my favorite part of being a school counselor at Graduation Pathways is the people. You would be hard pressed to find a team of educators (and our registrar, Karrie) who work harder to help students be successful in and outside of the classroom. They lead with humanistic values and prioritize a team approach. They are my friends and my role models.

The aspect of my job I find most rewarding is partnering with our students. Our students have the motivation to better themselves, which in turn motivates me to assist as needed. Every day is different. Some days I'm helping students navigate challenges such as legal issues, basic needs such as housing and/or food, and even parenting. Our students are so gracious and thankful for the work that we do at Graduation Pathways. It is truly humbling.

Did you attend LPS as a student? If so, which school(s)? If not, where are you from?
Yes! I attended Beattie, Irving and Southeast.

What path did you take after completing your formal education?
I attended Nebraska Wesleyan University for my bachelor's degree, and University of Nebraska-Omaha for my masters. My first job was teaching fourth grade at Sheridan Elementary School.

What do you enjoy most about the Lincoln community?
The diversity in cultures and the kindness of those who have been given to give back.

What is your favorite childhood book or a book that has influenced you positively?
I'll never forget reading "Catcher in the Rye" in 11th grade.

Share a shout out to a former teacher who impacted your life.
I want to give a shout out to our staff at Graduation Pathways, Chris Schefdore, Karrie Mishler, Trudi Dohmeier, Rashida Vaziri, Marcus Schmidt, Shannon Wiig, David Peterson and Rachel Mack. Their presence in my life and the lives of our students makes an impact every day.

Do you know a LPS staff member we should feature for Staff Spotlight? Fill out this form to nominate them!

Published: December 29, 2023, Updated: January 10, 2024

Abi Beatty—Counselor in Graduation Pathways