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LPS administrators announce retirement plans

Lincoln, NE (February 3, 2021)  Each year, school and district administrators who plan to retire at the end of the school year announce their intentions in the spring. Lincoln Public Schools wishes to congratulate the following LPS administrators on their upcoming retirements effective June 30, 2021, and thank them for their years of dedicated service to our students and families.

Polly Bowhay, principal at Kloefkorn Elementary School

Bowhay came to Lincoln Public Schools in 1989, starting as a kindergarten teacher at Fredstrom Elementary School until 2000, when she became a coordinator there. Bowhay also served as assistant principal at Hawthorne and Adams elementary schools, and principal at Belmont Elementary School for five years before taking on the role of Kloefkorn’s principal in 2017.

DeAnn Currin, principal at Sheridan Elementary School

Currin has spent her entire 46-year career serving Lincoln Public Schools families. She taught at Clinton Elementary School for 11 years before becoming the coordinator at Prescott Elementary School in 1986 and eventually assistant principal in 1991. In 1993, Currin was named principal at Elliott Elementary School, where she served for 17 years before being named Sheridan’s principal in 2010.

Mary Ells, assistant director of Special Education at LPS District Office

Ells currently serves as the assistant director of Special Education, a position that supports the Independence Academy, a Special Education academic program for 18-21 year old students with disabilities. She also serves students and families in the homebound and assistive technology programs. Prior to taking the position in 2004, she served as a supervisor for Special Education for seven years, and a curriculum consultant for Special Education for five years. Ells began at LPS as a Special Education teacher at Mickle Middle School in 1988.

Ann Jablonski, principal at Kooser Elementary School

Jablonski has served Lincoln Public Schools for 44 years. She taught 18 years at Beattie Elementary School before moving to Hawthorne Elementary School as a Special Education coordinator. She spent one year as assistant principal at West Lincoln Elementary School and two years as principal at Norwood Park Elementary School. Jablonski was Pyrtle Elementary School’s principal for seven and a half years before being chosen to open Kooser Elementary School as the principal in 2009.

Gene Thompson, principal at Mickle Middle School

Thompson began in education as a teacher and coach at Pound Junior High School in 1982. In addition to teaching at Pound, he also taught and coached part time at Southeast High School from 1983 to 1993. In 1993, Thompson became the Southeast High School assistant athletic director, and from 2000 to 2008 he served as a coordinator and assistant principal at East High School. Thompson was named Mickle Middle School’s principal in 2008.

Cindy Schwaninger, director of elementary education

After teaching in Adams, Neb., for three years, Schwaninger began at LPS as a teacher at Fredstrom Elementary School in 1984 until 1998. In addition, she served as the school district’s early literacy instructional strategies facilitator from 1996 to 1999. Schwaninger took on the role of curriculum specialist from 1999 to 2004, when she was named the principal at Hawthorne Elementary School. In 2008, Schwaninger was tapped to open Adams Elementary School, where she served as principal until she was named the director of elementary education in 2013.

Edith Zumwalt, director of Nutrition Services

When Zumwalt was named LPS director of Nutrition Services in 1990, there were 27,986 students in 49 buildings. LPS now serves an average of 26,600 lunches and 8,630 breakfasts daily in 61 buildings. Each year, Zumwalt leads a team of 410 employees to serve approximately 4.5 million school lunches and 1.4 million school breakfasts, in addition to 290,000 snacks.

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