Over sixty teachers gathered Friday night, May 1st, 2015, to celebrate the year’s achievements in the Nebraska Writing Project, and to honor this year’s award recipients.
Diana Weis, a 5th grade teacher from Cather Elementary School in Millard, received the 2015 Carol
MacDaniels Nebraska Writing Project Teacher of the Year award. She attended the event with her parents, brother, and a few close friends. Her nominators praised her for the “quiet and humble” contributions to NeWP programs since 2004, and for helping make them – and her students – better people.
Kathy Fleming, principal at Saratoga Elementary School in Lincoln, received the 2015 Administrator Certificate of Recognition. She was nominated by her school staff for her support of, and full participation in, this year’s Embedded Institute at Saratoga School.
One highlight of the evening was a performance by five members of the State Champion Slam Poetry Team from North Star High School. The poets performed individual, duet, and group slams – teaching the audience how to click and when to shout “speak, poet!” in the best tradition of slam.
Also performing were four writers from the Nebraska Warrior Writers program, a new program featuring writing from veterans of the US Armed Services. This program, sponsored by a partnership between Humanities Nebraska and Nebraska Writing Project, brings together veteran writers for series of Saturday morning writing sessions. This year, veterans of the Vietnam War, the Coast Guard, the Navy, and the Gulf War read from their work.
Also celebrated were the Young Writers Programs for the past year (including the Poetry of Place Celebration), NeWP Masters and Doctoral graduates, the year’s Retreat and Marathons, incoming participants in the Summer Institute and our two Embedded Institutes at Gretna and Saratoga Elementary, and advanced participants in next summer’s Leadership and Professional Writing Retreats.
This year’s quilt raffle winner was Diana Weis – who took home a beautiful quilt made especially for this even by Jan Knispel of Valentine.
We look forward to seeing even more members of the NeWP network at next year’s Spring Gathering. It’s already scheduled for April 29, 2016, 6-8 PM!