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Meet the 2021 Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award winners

Meet the 2021 Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award winners

The 15 Omaha Public Schools teachers have served students meals, held virtual book clubs and started clothing closets in their classrooms.

The 2021 Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award winners have taught through a pandemic, learning to innovate and be flexible as new challenges and changes arose.

That often meant finding new ways to reach and help their students in and out of the classroom.

The award, handed out each year since 1988, goes to OPS nominees with at least two years of teaching experience. The award is named for Alice Buffett, an aunt of Omaha investor Warren Buffett, who taught high school home economics in OPS for more than 35 years.

Awardees are nominated by colleagues, students and parents.

Each teacher will receive a $10,000 check, a silver engraved medallion and $1,000 in McDonald’s gift cards.

Brian AndersonArt teacher at Burke High School

Bachelor’s degree from Dana College and master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney

18 years with OPS

Michelle AschenbrennerSecond grade teacher at Columbian Elementary School

Bachelor’s degree from Wayne State College

33 years with OPS

Royonna BristolScience teacher at Bryan High School

Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, two master’s degrees from UNO

Seven years with OPS

Andrea BurtonFamily consumer science teacher at Burke High School

Bachelor’s degree from UNO, master’s degree from Wayne State College

17 years with OPS

Coral HannahEnglish as a second language teacher at South High School

Bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, master’s degree from UNK

19 years with OPS

Hannah HolguinMath teacher at South High School

Bachelor’s degree from Wayne State College, master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Eight years with OPS

Krissa HollingerSecond grade teacher at Dodge Elementary School

Bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri, master’s degree from Creighton University

Ten years with OPS

Christine KoltasSecond grade teacher at Rose Hill Elementary School

Bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida, master’s degree from Concordia University

15 years with OPS

Dianne LeeMath teacher at Bryan Middle School

Bachelor’s degree from Keene State College and master’s degrees from Antioch University and UNL

19 years with OPS

Kiley RuffSecond grade teacher at Washington Elementary School

Bachelor’s degree from Wayne State College and master’s degree from Doane University

Eight years with OPS

Aaron SteppEnglish and journalism teacher at South High School

Bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, master’s degree from University of Tennessee, master’s degree from UNL

Six years with OPS

Paula VazzanoEnglish teacher at Benson High School

Bachelor’s degree from UNL, master’s degree from UNO

32 years with OPS

Cassie WestMath teacher at Central High School

Bachelor’s degree from UNO, master’s degree from UNO

16 years with OPS

Jeremy WiemerIndustrial technology teacher at North High School

Bachelor’s degree from UNL, master’s degree from Concordia University

13 years with OPS

Jennifer WittryMath teacher at Benson High School

Bachelor’s degree from UNL, master’s degree from UNO

19 years with OPS

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Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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