OMAHA – On Friday, June 12, a new class of 15 superintendents, assistant superintendents, and principals from Nebraska and Iowa became the second group to complete the Midlands Superintendents Academy sponsored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).
The purpose of the Academy is to provide educational leaders with the skills needed to help them successfully lead and manage school districts. The most recent group of graduates began their session this past September.
Friday's graduation took place at Mammel Hall, home of UNO's College of Business Administration. The graduating members of the Academy’s second class are:
- Paul R. Bohn
Director of Student Services Papillion-LaVista School District
- Susan L. Christopherson
Director of Secondary Education Omaha Public Schools
- Dr. Josh Fields
Director of Curriculum, Staff Development and Assessment Seward Public Schools
- Dr. Cindy L. Gray
Associate Superintendent Elkhorn Public Schools
- Denise M. Hoge
Curriculum-Instruction-Assessment Director Bennington Public Schools
- Dr. Renee Hyde
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Papillion-LaVista School District
- Dr. Heidi Penke
Principal, Sandoz Elementary Millard Public Schools
- Melissa Poloncic
Principal Douglas County West Community Schools, Superintendent Millard Public Schools
- Jeff Rippe
Assistant Superintendent Bellevue Public Schools
- Dr. Kim Saum-Mills
Executive Director of Leadership & Strategic Planning Millard Public Schools
- Dr. Enid Schonewise
Assistant Superintendent of Human Services Westside Community Schools
- Dr. Jami Jo Thompson
Superintendent Norfolk Public Schools
- Dr. Corey Vorthmann
Assistant Superintendent Council Bluffs Schools
- Dr. Tiffanie Welte
Assistant Principal Ralston High School
- Anthony Weers
Superintendent Tri-Center Community Schools
As part of the program, participants came to the UNO campus for one eight-hour class each month, except for December, focused on topics such as strategic planning, ethical leadership, managing a crisis, technological innovations and even how to handle political lobbyists.
Throughout each of the classes, the participants worked with UNO educators as well as community and business leaders from around the country to develop ways to address the major issues in their districts and to prepare them for future challenges.
These leaders included Senator Greg Adams, Unicameral Speaker; Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust; and Tim Waters, president and chief executive officer of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), just to name a few.
In addition to guest speakers, each participant had a personal business executive mentor from the local area that provided them insight and guidance.
The 10-month program was designed by a UNO-wide interdisciplinary team led by Dick Christie, College of Education; Mary Hamilton, School of Public Administration; and Keith Lutz, then Superintendent of Millard Schools. They team was also aided by an advisory group of educational leaders from Nebraska and Iowa.
Upon his retirement from Millard in July 2014, Keith became Director of the Academy and is aided by Hamilton.
Applications are currently being accepted for next year’s academy, which will start this September. Those interested in participating can find an application and nomination materials at http://coe.unomaha.edu/moec/msa.
For questions or requests, please contact Charley Reed, UNO associate Director of Media Relations, at email@example.com or by phone at 402.554.2129.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.