Thank You Teacher winners announced

When Myah Anderson was in kindergarten at Fredstrom Elementary School, her mother passed away – and in a letter written for the annual Thank You Teacher contest, Myah wrote about teacher at the time: Cheryl Richter.

Myah wrote:  “The last night I saw my mom, my mom gave my brother and I each a bear.  I thought I would never let that bear go. I brought it to school with me, and Mrs. Richter let me have it in class right by my side. If I ever felt sad, Mrs. Richter would let me go to the library to read and get my mind off of that topic. She helped me through this hard time.”

Myah’s letter was written about one of the five winning teachers honored Tuesday – along with the students who nominated them – for the annual Thank You Teacher breakfast ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion to celebrate Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day. The event is sponsored by Lincoln Public Schools and Three Eagles Communications.

The other four Thank You Teacher winners were also announced Tuesday – chosen from hundreds of nominations.

Maxey Elementary School student Ealynn Hsu was pretty enthusiastic in her letter praising her teacher, Ann Hagaman.  “Well hold onto your hats, I, Ealynn Hsu, have a letter here to tell you who I recommend you to nominate. Well, here it is (drum roll please)…no other teacher than Mrs. Hagaman….I learned with her like a mother dolphin and her baby. She taught me things I had no clue what to do.  She was like the apple of my eye.  The stairway to success.”

Irving Middle School student Lilia Fromm was more down to business when she wrote about her math teacher Rebecca Neff:  “Mrs. Neff is dedicated to helping students and encouraging us to do our best. She breaks everything down into easy steps, so everyone can easily grasp concepts that may seem impossible.” 

Lincoln East High School student Cristina Prentice wrote about Ken Flowerday, who taught her American Literature class:  “Not only did I gain confidence from Mr. Flowerday’s class, but even more extreme inspiration.  Mr. Flowerday was open for anything and everything, ready to engage, and excited to help and teach every student.”

Lincoln High School student Heladio Perez-Pesina wrote about his former teacher Gary Hinkley, who is now retired.  Heladio wrote:  “It doesn’t cease to amaze me, the levels of generosity and wisdom you possessed and still do…You never lost patience and showed genuine enthusiasm….For the greatness you have shown me, I thank you.”

This year’s Thank You Teacher awards went to:

  • Preschool-Grade 2: Cheryl Richter, Fredstrom Elementary School,  nominated by Myah Anderson, Fredstrom. 
  • Grades 3-5:  Ann Hagaman, Maxey Elementary School, nominated by Eallynn Hsu, Maxey. 
  • Middle School: Rebecca Neff, Irving Middle School, nominated by Lilia Fromm, Irving. 
  • High School: Ken Flowerday, Lincoln East High School, nominated by Cristina Prentice, East.
  • Retired: Gary Hinkley, teacher former at Lincoln High School, nominated by Lincoln High student Heladio Perez-Pesina. 

Published: March 5, 2013, Updated: March 15, 2013


Click photo to enlarge

Myah and her former teacher, Cheryl Richter, from Fredstrom Elementary School.


Thank You Teacher 2013