De Tonack, Nebraska State Teacher of the Year 1998

Practice


De Tonack, Nebraska State Teacher of the Year 1998

My career in teaching began in 1965 and continues to this time as an adjunct math professor at Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska.

What has enticed me to remain in education all of these years have been several opportunities to “strike out” from the usual routine and help create a new model of instruction.

I assumed an opportunity to teach physics while moving quickly to get endorsed in a discipline I love teaching.

I stepped up to an opportunity to work with the local university helping new graduates move successfully into teaching.  This gave me a great window from which to earn my Ph.D.

I worked with our state television network creating math videos and curriculum with teachers across the state.  Our district formed a new science focus program off campus at the Zoo.  A colleague and I developed a program to teach at the zoo and drew many students with a pioneering spirit and they helped create an award winning program, often nicknamed “Zoo School.”

I think I would summarize all of this as saying “yes” to new challenges.  With each step, I have grown as a professional;  these opportunities and freedom to explore are necessary for teaching to remain a profession.


De is a semi-retired middle and high school teacher of mathematics, alternative education, and physics.

She holds a B.A. double endorsement in mathematics and English; masters in mathematics education and  Ph.D.

De is a USA Today Outstanding Teacher Team awardee in 1998 and is the 1992 Nebraska Teacher of the Year.



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