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Board Members Welcome Student Teachers

As we build our teacher pipeline, Omaha Public Schools invests in our student teachers several ways – both financially and personally. As a result, nearly 40 student teachers have already committed to joining our district after graduating in December. 

“It's a lot different from practicums, but I love it,” Franklin Elementary Student Teacher Cory Bugiel said. “I wake up every morning, and I'm excited to come in and work with the kids, and they're doing great.”

Omaha Public Schools pioneered student teacher stipends in 2022, a practice later adopted by other schools in our community. 

“When you’re student teaching, it is a full-time job,” Christine Warner, Ph.D., principal at Franklin Elementary, said. “That stipend lets them really focus on themselves as learners and growers in the profession.”

While pay is a significant incentive, fostering connections is also a focus as new student teachers join our district. Board of Education members visited each student teacher to provide a warm welcome and an extra boost of support. 

“I think it's important for them to know that it's not just their school that wants them,” Board of Education Vice President Jane Erdenberger said. “It's not even just the president of the school board and the superintendent who welcomed them on their first day. But we all really appreciate that they chose Omaha Public Schools to do their student teaching.”

With 104 student teachers, board members had a busy schedule. Each brought a packet of information about Omaha Public Schools and our community, plus opportunities available to them if they continue working with our district. 

“It's nice to meet more people who are working throughout and at all different levels,” Bugiel said. “Establishing some of those working relationships, even if it's just a brief meeting, can go a long way.”

Building personal connections with cooperating teachers, principals and leadership connects future teachers to Omaha Public Schools. The staff they work with are enthusiastic, too.

“Every school I've been to so far, the principal has told me that they have the best student teachers ever,” Erdenberger said. “And if that's true, in every school, we must have a fantastic, fantastic group of student teachers.”