Staff Spotlight: Tracy Nelson-special education coordinator at Lincoln Northwest High School

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 Tracy Nelson, special education coordinator at Lincoln Northwest High School.

“Tracy works tirelessly for our special education department at LNW. She wears many hats as our building has an early childhood preschool program, an Individual Success Program, along with life skills and resource programs. Tracy is a positive force. She is willing to jump in and help whenever needed. She does not ask staff to do anything she wouldn't do herself. She is the go-to person for many of our special education students and their families. Her years of experience are put into practice each and every day. I have learned so much from her and continue to do so daily. LNW is better for having her as a part of our team.” Peggy Snurr, Northwest High School Special Education Department Chair.

In a few sentences, briefly describe your role at LPS.
I am the special education coordinator at Northwest High School supporting all school-age special education students, the individual success program at LNW and early childhood centerbase at LNW.

How long have you worked for LPS?
Twenty-seven years.

What inspired you to become part of the education field at LPS?
I completed my undergraduate and graduate work at UNL and had all of my educational training within LPS. The staff, schools and community were supportive of all learners including those with learning differences.

What has been your favorite part of working here? What aspect of your job do you find most rewarding?
My favorite part of working within LPS is the daily opportunity to impact students and support staff within the buildings.

Did you attend LPS as a student? If so, which school(s)? If not, where are you from?
I attended Millard Public Schools in Omaha.

What path did you take after completing your formal education? 
I completed my bachelor’s and master's degrees at UNL.

What do you enjoy most about the Lincoln community?
I enjoy the diversity within our school community and have appreciated how the city of Lincoln embraces each of its schools.

What is your favorite childhood book or a book that has influenced your life positively?
“The Wonkey Donkey” by Craig Smith is a book that I enjoy reading with my grandson. It was one of the first books we read to him to engage him in the fun of reading. Learning should be focused on fun and that has helped us open up his interest in reading and learning.

Share a shout out to a former teacher who impacted your life.
Jan Fisher was my English teacher in ninth grade. She helped me grow as a writer and challenged me to do more. I also admired Mr. Trauernicht, my architecture and design teacher, as he fostered my love of learning and interested me in the teaching profession.

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

Published: April 12, 2024, Updated: April 12, 2024

Tracy Nelson-special education coordinator at Northwest High School