Kearney Public Schools, University of Nebraska at Kearney announce Kearney Teachers Tomorrow scholarship program

KEARNEY — Kearney Public Schools and the University of Nebraska at Kearney are launching the Kearney Teachers Tomorrow (KTOM) scholarship program. This innovative program offers scholarships to students pursuing a teaching degree at UNK. In addition to financial support, KTOM participants will gain hands-on experience in education and are assured a teaching position at KPS upon completion of their degree.

The Kearney Education Collaborative, a joint leadership team of KPS and the UNK College of Education, developed the Kearney Teachers Tomorrow scholarship program that will support eight new students annually beginning this fall.

Recipients of the KTOM scholarship will earn a $6,000 annual scholarship from KPS for college expenses. UNK will waive housing costs for on-campus residents and provide $1,900 annually to help cover student dues. The value of that financial commitment before other scholarships and aid is more than $14,000 per year.  

Jason Mundorf
Mark Reid

KPS Superintendent Jason Mundorf expressed enthusiasm for this program, stating that the Kearney Teachers Tomorrow initiative embodies the school district’s commitment to education and the community’s future. 

“Statistically, we already know that, on average, approximately 30% of Kearney High graduates who attend college go to UNK,” said Mundorf. “We also know that many kids aren’t sure what they want to do in their life when they go to UNK, but these kids love living in Kearney and the many great things it offers them with family, friends and a fantastic community. What they are missing is a “road map” for how to stay in Kearney, attend UNK and ensure employment in Kearney when they graduate. KTOM provides that clearly outlined plan.” 

At KPS, the demand for highly qualified and skilled teachers is high, especially in specific areas such as special education, math, science and world languages. The KTOM program will prioritize students with financial needs who are pursuing the district’s highest-demand teaching endorsements.

UNK Dean of Education Mark Reid highlighted the partnership’s benefits to students and the broader education sector. 

“Through the KTOM program, we are breaking down barriers to higher education and empowering our students to pursue their passion for teaching without financial burden,” he said. “Our collaboration with KPS is a testament to our shared vision of fostering a highly skilled and dedicated workforce ready to inspire the next generation of learners.”

The KTOM scholarship is renewable for four years and includes opportunities for students to work in various roles within KPS during their college years, contributing to their professional development and eligibility for retirement benefits through the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System (NPERS).

Upon completing their degree at UNK, KTOM graduates are guaranteed a teaching position within Kearney Public Schools, ensuring a seamless transition into their careers. The program prioritizes Kearney High graduates, students pursuing in-demand teaching endorsements, first-time college attendees and those with financial needs. Selection criteria include reviewer’s choice, financial need, volunteerism and GPA.

The deadline for the fall 2024 scholarship application is May 1, 2024. Students may apply for the KTOM scholarship at

The initiative underscores both institutions’ dedication to nurturing homegrown talent and addressing the critical need for qualified educators in the region. “This scholarship initiative is one of the most exciting projects we’ve worked on in the Kearney Education Collaborative. We are committed to working with UNK to find educational opportunities for our students and the broader Kearney area,” expressed Mundorf.

“The KTOM program will create a pathway for success that benefits not only our students, but also our community at large,” Mundorf added. “We are excited to welcome the first cohort of KTOM scholars and watch as they grow into the educational leaders of our school district.”