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2010.04.06 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO College of Education to Honor 10 Individuals April 14

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Education will honor four alumni and six individuals who have served more than 10 years as supervisors of student teachers at the 22nd Annual Hollie Bethel Distinguished Alumni Luncheon on Wednesday, April 14 in the Bootstrapper Hall at the Thompson Alumni Center.

During the 22-year tenure of the awards, 133 of the more than 17,000 living alumni have been honored.

Those selected for honors this year are:

Elizabeth Cernech, Distinguished Service Award
Elizabeth Cernech is vice president of Fund Development for the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) in Omaha. She previously served as the director of the VNA. Cernech has received recognition awards from the March of Dimes and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Cernech earned a Master of Arts Degree in Health Education from UNO.

Kelly Karkosky, Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award
A 2009 winner of the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teaching Award, Kelly Karkosky has been described as “by far the most outstanding teacher of children who have multiple and severe handicaps. She is able to take the students and instill a spirit of ‘I can’ in them that is remarkable.” Karkosky has taught for 27 years at Oak Valley Elementary in the Omaha Public Schools. Karkosky earned a Master of Science Degree in Special Education from UNO.

Carolyn Paseneaux, Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award
Carolyn Paseneaux has been active in developing programs for women and youth who have been incarcerated. She was elected to the Wyoming State Senate where she served two terms. An attorney, Paseneaux works as a consultant and advocate for several groups in Wyoming. She earned a Master of Science Degree in Agency Counseling from UNO.

Jason Plourde, Distinguished Promising Professional Award
Jason Plourde is principal at Washington Elementary School in the Council Bluffs Community Schools. He is recognized as an outstanding school leader and successfully merged the Crescent and Washington Elementary School populations during a period of time when Crescent Elementary was rebuilt following a fire. Plourde received the prestigious national Milken Award last year. He earned his Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from UNO.

Distinguished Friend of Education Award

Six individuals were selected to receive the Friend of Education Award for their extended service as supervisors of teacher candidates during the student teaching experience. Each of the honorees has been a supervisor for at least 10 years. The honorees are: Robert Jorgensen, Shirley Key, Alice Kosowsky, Jim Porter, Sharon Struve and Jan Urban. While not a qualification to be considered for this award, it was discovered each of these individuals are also College of Education graduates.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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