The Phoenix Academy presented two literacy awards at its Tuesday benefit luncheon.
John Gottschalk, retired publisher and CEO of The World-Herald, received the Holland Literacy Advocate Award for his work to improve the educational system in Omaha and beyond.
Gottschalk helped put classroom performance in the spotlight for businesses, families and educators as chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce's “Omaha 2000” steering committee. He also has worked to spread awareness of shortcomings in the country's educational system, counsels community education leaders and serves on several national and local nonprofit boards.
Former University of Nebraska at Omaha Chancellor Del Weber received the Mactier/Clark Literacy Educator Award for his work to improve educational opportunities at UNO.
In his tenure, he more than doubled the number of full-time faculty members at UNO, oversaw more than $60 million in new buildings and renovations, and initiated development of the university's first residence halls. He also was president of the Omaha Community Foundation until 2002.
The award was named for Patti Clark, founder of Phoenix Academy, and former Omaha Public Schools board member Ann Mactier, a longtime supporter of the school.
Phoenix Academy, founded in 1991, stresses the use of phonics in its strong language arts curriculum, which includes math concepts, social studies, science and organizational and study skills. It serves youths from kindergarten through eighth grade. Students come from across Iowa and Nebraska to attend, and usually return to their home schools after two years.