Thank You Teacher!


Emotional event honors Thank You Teacher winners

Five educators were selected from 500 written nominations to be honored as part of the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher celebration, which asks students throughout the community to write about how a favorite teacher impacted their lives. 

On Tuesday, the winning educators and students were formally recognized during a special reception and program in the board room at LPS District Office. The original event to honor the winners, scheduled for March 7 at the Governor’s Mansion, was cancelled due to inclement year.

The event may have been delayed but its emotional impact remained the same. Students and colleagues read their nominating letters aloud, followed by brief remarks from the winning educators – often times followed by tears from everyone involved and many in the audience.

“You’re amazing, darling, and I want you to remember you had a third-grade teacher who was crazy about you,” said one of the honorees, Meadow Lane Elementary School teacher Ardis Koehn, speaking to her nominating student, Jackie Stoebner.

This year’s Thank You Teacher awards went to:

Preschool-Grade 2

Stephanie Emry, preschool teacher at Rousseau Elementary School; nominated by Mary Monahan and her son Owen.

Grades 3-5

Ardis Koehn, Meadow Lane Elementary School; nominated by Jackie Stoebner, Meadow Lane Elementary School.

Middle School

Valerie Bergo, counselor at Irving Middle School; nominated by Veronica Chapman, senior at East High School.

High School

Julie Krueger, English teacher at Southeast High School; nominated by Trinity Babcock, junior at Southeast High School.


Kathy Wortman, former teacher at Riley Elementary School; nominated by first-grade teachers Vickie Neilly, Jenna Adamson and Nikki Janssen. 

Photos from the 2019 Thank You Teacher Celebration

Thank You Teacher Recognition
April 2nd at 5:00 p.m.


Steve Joel
Lincoln Public Schools

Master of Ceremonies

Jill St. James


Connie Duncan
Lincoln Board of Education

Awards Presentation

Steve Joel and Jill St. James

Letters and Comments

Students and Teachers

Closing Remarks

Jill St. James

This event is sponsored by:
KFOR, KFRX, Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln Education Association and the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools

Five educators were selected among 500 written nominations in the annual Thank You Teacher contest, which asks students throughout the community to write about how a favorite teacher impacted their lives. The event is sponsored by Lincoln Public Schools and KFOR/KFRX radio.

  • Kindergarten–2nd grade
  • 3–5th grade
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Retired
Stephanie Emry

Steph Emry

Rousseau Elementary

Nominated By
Mary E Monahan and son Owen

Ardis Koehn

Meadow Lane Elementary

Nominated By
Jackie Stoebner
Meadow Lane Elementary

Valerie Bergo

Counselor at Irving Middle School

Nominated By
Veronica Chapman,
senior at East High School

Julie Krueger

English Teacher,
Southeast High School

Nominated By
Trinity Babcock,
Junior at Southeast High School

Kathy Wortman

Former teacher,
Riley Elementary School

Nominated By
First-grade teachers Vickie Neilly, Jenna Adamson and Nikki Janssen