EducationQuest Foundation Names LPS Superintendent Dr. Steve Joel 2022 Hall of Fame Honoree

(KFOR NEWS  April 18, 2022)    (Lincoln, NE)  EducationQuest Foundation has named Dr. Steve Joel, superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools, its 2022 Hall of Fame honoree at the organization’s recent biennial Symposium in Lincoln.

EducationQuest President and CEO, Liz Koop, said, “Dr. Joel’s steadfast leadership, community-mindedness, and passion for education have made a significant impact on the lives of students all across Nebraska. He is a tireless advocate for the student experience and has helped thousands of students achieve college and career success.

Under Joel’s leadership, Lincoln Public Schools piloted the statewide ACT testing for all juniors. He was also instrumental in developing The Career Academy, a partnership between LPS and Southeast Community College, which provides real-world training and experience for juniors and seniors in 16 different career pathways.

Joel has been honored with a wide variety of awards and distinctions, including Nebraska Superintendent of the Year and Leadership Excellence by the Educational Resource Development Institute. Prior to joining LPS in 2010, Joel served for 10 years as superintendent in Grand Island and eight years in Beatrice.

Joel said, “I am humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award from EducationQuest. On behalf of Lincoln Public Schools, we greatly appreciate this vibrant partnership that does so much in connecting our students and families to post-secondary educational opportunities. As a school district we take great pride in the number of our graduating seniors that successfully continue their education after high school and enjoy working with EducationQuest to make that happen.

Also honored at EducationQuest’s biennial Symposium were the 2019-2021 Hall of Fame inductees.  Their official recognition was delayed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Honorees include:

*   Dr. Nancy Bond (2021), retired supervisor of school counseling at Omaha Public Schools (OPS). Bond started her career at OPS in 1985 and served as a counselor at the elementary, middle and high school levels, in addition to holding other administrative positions at the central office. She was also a former assistant principal at Omaha North High Magnet School, former president of the Nebraska School Counselors Association, and a former delegate with the American School Counselor Association.
Bond was selected for the EducationQuest Hall of Fame because her work to intentionally engage students with professionals at school has resulted in meaningful relationships that have impacted students’ college and career plans.

*   The Central Plains Center for Services (2020), a private non-profit social service agency based in Broken Bow. The agency provides programming to young people across Nebraska who have been involved in the foster care system, connecting them to college opportunities and other resources. Specifically, the Central Plains Education & Training Voucher program provides one-on-one support and financial assistance for college, and the Preparation, Transition & Independent Living Services program, also known as PALS, provides guidance to foster children and wards of state to help them become “successful independent adults.”

*   Silvester Juanes (2020), healthcare executive, consultant, author, speaker and teacher from Omaha. A past recipient of EducationQuest’s Reaching Your Potential Scholarship as an undergrad, Juanes was selected for the Hall of Fame based on his inspiring dedication to improving the quality of care in the lives of those in need of healthcare. Juanes graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2015 with a degree in neuroscience and gerontology.

In addition to published articles in scholarly and professional publications and recognition by the University of Nebraska Alumni Association for excellence in public service, Juanes has started and managed two healthcare companies while teaching for Omaha Public Schools.

*   Ann Chambers (2019), retired adult education director at Central Community College (CCC) in Grand Island. Chambers was selected for her efforts over 34 years to grow CCC’s Adult Education program into the largest in the state and for her work helping hundreds of adults earn a GED. In addition to her work at Central Community College, Chambers served on the Greater Nebraska Development Board, Coalition on Adult Basic Education, and the Adult and Continuing Education Association of Nebraska.

EducationQuest Foundation’s Hall of Fame program was established in 2016 to recognize professionals whose work to promote access to higher education in Nebraska have made a difference in the lives of Nebraskans. Inductees are selected every year and honored at EducationQuest’s biennial Symposium, a day-long conference for school counselors and agency professionals.

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