KEARNEY – Three Kearney educators are the newest members of the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Academy for Teacher Education Excellence.
Kelly Melson, Lori Moore and Stacie Pearson, all with Kearney Public Schools, were recognized Wednesday during a ceremony on campus for their work with students entering the education profession. Each inductee received a $1,000 stipend and commemorative plaque.
The Academy for Teacher Education Excellence celebrates educators from UNK or partner schools who demonstrate excellence in teaching, a passion for the profession and the ability to inspire future teachers.
Kelly Melson, school librarian, Northeast Elementary School
“Kelly is a passionate school librarian, embracing both her teaching and librarian duties in creative and innovative ways that inspire the graduate students who complete their field experiences with her at Northeast Elementary,” wrote co-nominators Sherry Crow, a professor of teacher education and associate dean of UNK’s College of Education, and Judy Henning, an assistant professor of teacher education at UNK.
“In the past several years, she has been the cooperating school librarian for some of our finest central Nebraska librarians. All of her UNK field experience graduate students were very appreciative of Kelly’s guidance and give her high accolades when reporting on their field experience.”
Melson is active with the Nebraska School Librarians Association and she emphasizes the use of technology in education and library program curriculum. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNK, and also took graduate classes through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“Kelly promotes the school librarian profession with gusto, encouraging teachers to become school librarians themselves,” Crow and Henning wrote.
Melson, who has been with Kearney Public Schools for 25 years, is the first school librarian inducted into UNK’s Academy for Teacher Education Excellence.
Lori Moore, resource teacher, Horizon Middle School
Moore, a UNK graduate, has taught at Horizon Middle School for 29 years.
“Lori teaches with a passion,” Horizon Middle School Principal Kipp Petersen wrote. “She is one of the most dedicated and committed teachers I know. She is demanding, she sets boundaries with the students, she is not afraid to share the truth with parents, she holds students accountable and she must have one of the largest hearts known to mankind.”
Moore goes above and beyond to impact the lives of students, according to Petersen, who turns to the special education teacher whenever he needs help with a student, a volunteer to take on a task or someone who can provide sound advice on school improvement.
“Some people will say Ms. Moore goes the extra mile, and I say she has never stopped, and how far she has gone to make a difference can’t be measured,” Petersen wrote.
Moore has been part of the UNK co-teaching program and Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (YRTC) advisory board, and she served as an adviser for a UNK sorority and teacher candidate mentor.
“She has given her heart and soul as a teacher and represented UNK as well as anybody,” Petersen wrote.
Stacie Pearson, sixth grade English language arts teacher, Horizon Middle School
Pearson is a leader in the classroom, as well as on teams working to enhance English language arts curriculum and professional development, according to Petersen.
“She has mentored countless teachers in our building and given much of her time to working with teacher education students,” Petersen wrote, noting that a recent student teacher called her experiences with Pearson “a gift.”
A UNK graduate, Pearson has taught at Horizon Middle School for 22 years and served as an adjunct faculty at UNK.
“Stacie is one of the best, as evidenced by her work ethic and knowledge base, and because she has a love for her students,” Petersen wrote. “Horizon Middle School is a better place because of Mrs. Pearson as she has empowered students to be more confident not only academically, but also emotionally.
“The University of Nebraska at Kearney can be proud to have her as an alumna.”