Carrie Erks — 2019 School Social Worker of the Year for Nebraska

Background

The School Social Work Association of Nebraska was established nearly 30 years ago, with the mission to promote professional excellence among school social workers in an effort to enhance the well-being of students, families and community within the state’s educational system. Every year the organization recognizes a School Social Worker of the Year. Carrie Erks from Lincoln Public Schools has been awarded that honor for 2019. School social workers are licensed mental health practitioners who connect students and families to resources at school and in the community in an effort to help students overcome barriers to success. Among her many accomplishments, Erks has led the effort to institute the Second Step curriculum, which teaches social-emotional learning to LPS students in grades kindergarten through seventh grade.

Explanation

The School Social Work Association of Nebraska has named Carrie Erks from Lincoln Public Schools the 2019 School Social Worker of the Year for Nebraska.

Brenda Leggiadro, LPS counseling and school social work supervisor, said this about Erks in a nomination letter for the award:

“As a leader of the school social work team, Carrie provides a powerful voice for her colleagues and for the profession as she models collaboration with counselors, psychologists and nurses to address student needs and help families thrive.”

Gabby Danner, a school social worker at the LPS Bryan Community Focus Program, had this to say about Erks:

“She is a beacon of hope both professionally and personally. Carrie emits warmth and genuine empathy for those she encounters. She strives to use her social work skills to make the lives of those she interacts with better.”

Proposal

That the Lincoln Board of Education adopt the following resolution:

WHEREAS, Carrie Erks is a leader among her school social worker peers at Lincoln Public Schools and throughout Nebraska; and

WHEREAS, Carrie Erks has been integral in the implementation of the Second Step curriculum, which teaches social-emotional learning to students at Lincoln Public Schools; and

WHEREAS, Carrie Erks is dedicated to connecting students and families to resources at school and in the community in an effort to help students overcome barriers to success; and

WHEREAS, Carrie Erks goes above and beyond her job duties and builds life-lasting relationships with families and students; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Lincoln Board of Education

does hereby congratulate Carrie Erks for being named the 2019 School Social Worker of the Year for Nebraska.