10 Insights From Nebraska Students That Moved Us

10 Insights From Nebraska Students That Moved Us

By Tyler Dahlgren

NCSA Communications Specialist

Last week, we revisited 10 particularly moving insights from educators across the state that we were lucky enough to visit with and feature over the last year. This week, it's the students' turn to talk.

S-E-M Junior Lindsey Dittmar

*From Sep 6 NPSA article “More Than Meets the Ears: Music unifies students at S-E-M”

“I am a part of as much as I can be, and it does get hard to juggle everything, but I am getting pretty good at managing my time,” Dittmar said. “You get connected with everyone. It’s really cool to be able to see what everyone is good at and where their strong suits are.”

York High School Senior Brianna Cobb

*From March 15 NPSA article “Every Student, Every Day: A motto to live by in York Public Schools”

“It is easy to come to school for us,” Cobb said. “Usually, you would worry about it being boring, or there constantly being too much homework, and obviously there is homework, but it is reassuring to know that you can come into a place where you have a relationship with everyone.”

2017 York Graduate John Erwin

*From March 15 NPSA article “Every Student, Every Day: A motto to live by in York Public Schools”

“It seems like our teachers truly care about how we succeed as people, and not just how we succeed in their classroom,” Erwin said. “As teachers, they really want us to succeed in and out of the classroom.”

Ashland-Greenwood student Will Bergsten on fourth-grade teacher Patrick Mencke

*From Feb 14 NPSA article “Building a Bluejay: Ashland-Greenwood’s culture shift opens doors to kindness”

“He’s a great teacher,” the basketball player said. “He coaches high school basketball and goes to the games, so sometimes I meet him there and have conversations with him and he will always say ‘See you at school!’”

Laurel Concord-Coleridge Junior Reanna Lawyer

*From Dec 7, 2016 NPSA article “A Friend to All: Pippin the therapy pony uplifts those in L-C-C school, community”

A year ago, Lawyer couldn’t have envisioned herself in such a scenario, confidently standing in front of a classroom. Before, she was admittedly shy. Now she’s more outgoing, and she has her new friend to thank for that.

“Without Pippin, I probably wouldn’t have even said ‘Hi’ when I walked past that schoolroom,” Lawyer said. “Not that I don’t like kids, it’s just that I used to be really shy. Since Pippin, I’ve gotten used to talking more, and I’m more outgoing.”

2017 Lyons-Decatur Northeast Graduate Brock Vetick

*From May 5 NPSA article “The Science of Serving: Lyons-Decatur senior finds passion, purpose in the lab”

“When a person picks up a paper here, probably three of the 10 pages are nothing but school activities,” Vetick said. “School is so much a part of the community here. When I bump into someone at the gas pump or grocery story, they’re saying ‘Congrats on the Science Fair!’ or offering other encouragement.”

“I’ll never forget the opportunities that Lyons-Decatur has given me,” Vetick said. “I’ll remember this as the road that got me to where I’m headed.”

2017 Ashland-Greenwood Graduate Elsie Burke

*From Feb 14 NPSA article “Building a Bluejay: Ashland-Greenwood’s culture shift opens doors to kindness”

“We have made standing up for one another the norm,” said Burke, who tries to give three genuine compliments every day. “Students in our school have taken the initiative in making our school a safe and encouraging environment for all.”

Ogallala Prairie View Elementary Student Caden Walker, “Art Adventure with Science Focus!” Camper

*From July 19 NPSA article “Lakeshore Learning: UNL, Ogallala-area students connect art and science on Big Mac”

“Some friends that you know really well from school, you can’t go to their houses because they are too far away,” said 11-year-old Caden Walker, a return camper and student at Ogallala’s Prairie View Elementary. “Here at camp you can see them again before school starts.”

Ashland-Greenwood Senior Braden Kern

*From Feb 14 NPSA article “Building a Bluejay: Ashland-Greenwood’s culture shift opens doors to Kindness”

“If I were to see something that was not supportive to helping others, I would speak up and do something to get it fixed,” said Kern. “Each day, I try and make someone’s day better. I’m always seeing stories of how one person’s actions, no matter how small they seem, do wonderful things.”

Cross County Senior Madi Baker

*From Feb 3 NPSA article “The Coolest Cow in School: Cross County ag students await Rosie’s calf”

Fellow junior Madi Baker didn’t grow up on a farm, but has always loved animals. Being part of the ag program has shifted her prospective career path. What was once an afterthought has become her favorite period of the day.

“I am looking to maybe do something with architecture and construction, but now I also think I’d really like to have agriculture play a part in my future,” Baker said. “I think it provides a lot of lessons and we have a very unique opportunity.”