Two Kearney teachers added to UNK Academy for Teacher Ed Excellence

Left to right: Matt Gordon, UNK College of Education Dean Sheryl Feinstein, Sara Axtell.

KEARNEY – Two Kearney educators were inducted Thursday into the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Academy for Teacher Education Excellence for their work with students entering the education profession.

Inductees represent professionals who work in schools as educators or as faculty members at UNK.

The Academy for Teacher Education Excellence award is given to educators who have shown excellence in teaching, a passion for the profession, and the ability to inspire future teachers.

This year’s class includes:

Gordon-Matt-webMatt Gordon, Business teacher, Horizon Middle School

“Matt has been instrumental in many changes implemented in a course that I teach for business teacher educators. He has given me up-to-date technology tips,” said Janet Lear, associate professor economics at UNK.

“With Mr. Gordon’s help, BSED 302 morphed into a more proactive class that, hopefully, provides future business teachers with improved technology skills. Ones they will use in the classroom,” Lear added.

“Today BSED 302 is a more project-based class utilizing some of the project ideas that Matt discussed. Business teacher education students are more prepared when they student teach and then begin their own career.”

Axtell-SaraSara Axtell, Second-grade teacher, Northeast Elementary

“Sara is an ambitious, poised second-grade teacher. She opened her classroom to host four Math Methods II students. This trend has continued every semester for the past six years,” said Jane Strawhecker, professor of teacher education at UNK. “Her exemplary teaching and classroom management serve as key examples for our elementary/early childhood pre-service teachers.

“I know that no matter the level of pre-service teacher I assign to work under Sara, she will inspire that person to develop into a more skilled future teacher,” Strawhecker added.

Sheryl Feinstein, dean of the College of Education, said the 2016 class of inductees “represents the hard-working, passionate and dedicated educators we see in the state of Nebraska. Their commitment to guiding and supporting our future teachers from UNK is a partnership that we value and makes a significant difference in the quality of our program.”