'Thank You Teacher' winners go beyond the obvious

Kloefkorn Elementary School second grader Emersyn Keim says she and her teacher – Stephanie Schulz – are “the peas and carrots.  We are peas in a pod. We are ketchup and mustard.” 

Lincoln Southeast High School student Tamara Kulwicki describes how her teacher, Julie Latenser, never gave up on her and became almost like her own personal cheerleader:  “And I want to make Mrs. Latenser proud.”

Lauren Kelly, a student at Lefler Middle School, remembers when her band teacher Jim Karas helped make sure she could her play musical instruments – despite a nerve injury that challenges her right arm.

These three teachers were among the five winning educators honored – along with the students who nominated them – in the annual Thank You Teacher breakfast ceremony held Tuesday in honor of Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day.

Lily Lautenschlager, a student at Maxey Elementary School, says she “wants to be as amazing and exciting as Mrs. Reineke…I love having her as a teacher because she’s enthusiastic and no matter if she’s in a bad mood, she always comes in with a smile on her face.” 

Veronica Rathman, now the coordinator at Hill Elementary School, nominated former Meadow Lane Elementary teacher Jeanne Zwiebel:   “It was my good fortune to be placed as a student teacher with Jeanne Zweibel in a wonderful third grade classroom…Mrs. Zwiebel had a commitment to her students to enrich their lives academically, socially and emotionally.  She modeled a dedication to make each moment in the classroom count.”

This year’s Thank You Teacher awards went to:

  • Preschool-Grade 2:  Stephanie Schulz, Kloefkorn Elementary School teacher; nominated by Emersyn Keim, Kloefkorn.  
  • Grades 3-5:  Kelly Reineke, Maxey Elementary School teacher; nominated by Lily Lautenschlager, Maxey.
  • Middle School: James Karas, Lefler Middle School teacher; nominated by Lauren Kelly, Lefler,
  • High School: Julie Latenser, Lincoln Southeast High School teacher; nominated by Tamara Kulwicki, Southeast.
  • Retired: Jeanne Zwiebel, former teacher at Meadow Lane Elementary School; nominated by Veronica Rathman, now coordinator at Hill Elementary School.

The event is sponsored by Lincoln Public Schools and Three Eagle Communications.

For more information contact Mary Kay Roth, Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 436-1609.




Published: March 4, 2014, Updated: March 4, 2014


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