NASB Staff

​Leadership - Innovation - Vision - Engagement
#liveNASB - #weLIVEhere

 JS2020 white Makenzie Shari Matt Belka sq Megan Boldt 2022 sq Craig Caples Abi 2022 500 white Colby 2022 500 white Katie 2022 sq Sharon Caden white bkg sq MH2020 white Sallie Horky sq RH white 2020 Kraus sq Kem 2022 500 Jim Luebbe  Kari Stephens white 500 Spencer 500 LW 2021 white sq 500

DID YOU KNOW: We Live Here! 

79% of Nebraska's 1,700 locally elected School Board Members serve at or within 100 miles of where they graduated ... with 51% serving AT the district they graduated from. Like our members we serve, the NASB staff lives here (Nebraska) as well.
 79GRAD

With an average tenure of just under 10 years, the NASB staff has attended or had children attend or teach in 35 Nebraska public school districts including Auburn, Beatrice, Centennial, Clarkson, Crete, Dorchester, Fremont, Friend, Grand Island, Hastings, Johnson-Brock, Kearney, Kenesaw, Lexington, Lincoln, McCool-Junction, Millard, Mullen, Nebraska City, Norris, North Bend Central, O'Neill, Ord, Papillion La Vista, Raymond Central, Rock County, Scribner-Snyder, Seward, Southern, Sterling, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca, Tri County, Waverly, Wilber-Clatonia & York

As a school board member, you are of great value. To your students. To your peers. To your board. To your community. To us at NASB. If you have any questions you may contact us any time via email, or by calling 800-422-4572 or 402-423-4951.


John Spatz - Executive Director
Graduate of Ord Public Schools
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JS2020 whiteJohn Spatz was named Executive Director of NASB in January 2012, taking over for the retiring John Bonaiuto. In 2003, John joined NASB as legal counsel. His work centered on providing legal information to the many members of the association. Since his employment with NASB he has established the Negotiation Information and Technology Network (NITN) to assist school boards in their negotiations process; he has written a book entitled "Guide Book to Nebraska's Public Meetings Laws;" he has expanded the number of legal workshops available to members; and developed a number of publications intended to assist board members fulfill their roles. John was born in Schuyler, and lived the first six years of his life in Clarkson. His family moved to Ord in 1980 where his dad took the job as principal at Ord High School and his mother began teaching at Burwell High School. John's mother, Laura, is a speech and drama teacher and desperately tried to get her stubborn son to participate in speech and/or drama but her attempts were in vain as never took the opportunity to join either speech or drama. John graduated from Ord High School in 1992 and began his college career at Dana College in Blair. After two years at Dana, John transferred to UNL where he received his bachelor's degree in accounting. Throughout his years before NASB John had the opportunity to participate in a number of jobs in a variety of places, including farms, warehouses, offices and cities. John continued his education, and graduated from the University of Nebraska's College of Law in 2000. After law school he worked for Senator Jim Jensen in the Nebraska Unicameral. During his employment with the legislature John participated in a variety of committees including: Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects Rule Making Committee; Juvenile Diversion, Detention & Probation Task Force; Every Child Wanted, Nurtured and Supported Initiative; Nebraska Cancer Control Grant Committee; Infant Mortality Blue Ribbon Panel; Women's Health Advisory Council; United Way Public Policy Committee; Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee; Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Project Advisory Committee; Family First Marriage Matters Panel; Nebraska Bio-Terrorism Advisory Committee; Nebraska Partners in Prevention for Addictions; Nebraska Mental Health Housing Coalition; NEBHANDS - Nebraskans Expanding Behavioral Health Access through Networking; and many others. John is married to Julianne Spatz, who is a lawyer at the firm Kinsey Rowe Becker & Kistler, LLP, located in downtown Lincoln. John and Julianne have three children, Evan, Colton, and Roslyn.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  "I grew up in an education family and working with the association fits my personality and passion."
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mark King
  • School Mascot?  Chanticleer – maybe the only school in the nation with that one
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Bunzas
  • Dinner with someone famous, who would it be, and what would you serve?  Abe Lincoln – Ribeyes
  • Favorite Movie?  Little Giants

Makenzie Barry - ALICAP Data & Financial Specialist
Graduate of Lincoln Public Schools
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MakenzieMakenzie serves as the ALICAP Data & Financial Specialist. Her roles in accounting include processing accounts payable, credit cards, and assisting the Business Manager with other accounting tasks. Makenzie earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She majored in Accounting with a minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Makenzie and her husband, Austin, have 3 dogs and enjoy spending time at the pool, exercising, and cooking.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I enjoy meeting new people and learning about them. I have previous association work experience and I find that I love working in a setting where I get to serve the members.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Señora Hemmett
  • School Mascot?  Silver Hawks
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Mucho Nacho (who doesn’t love nachos for lunch?)
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  Toast (Lincoln), with the cast of The Office
  • Favorite Movie?  Dirty Dancing, for sure!

Shari Becker - Director of Education Leadership Search Service
Graduate of Scribner-Snyder Community Schools
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ShariShari started with the Association Search Service in 2007 serving in the role of Consultant. She was promoted to the Director of the Education Leadership Search Service in April of 2013. Shari is responsible for working with boards and stakeholders to identify the needs of the district and the attributes a successful superintendent candidate will possess. She also recruits and advertises for quality educators for vacancies. In addition to her primary role with the Search Service, Shari became a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach in 2018 and assists board members and administration in identifying their Strengths and assessing how to bring out the best in leadership teams. In 2021, Shari became an ODR Certified Mediator. Shari also oversees the Board Member Awards of Achievement Program at NASB. Prior to joining the Search Service, Shari was employed as Chief Operating Officer in charge of staff, at a financial company. She has degrees in Administrative Resource Management and 7-12 Business Education. Her previous work experience and educational background provide valuable experience in her role as Director. Shari lives outside of Waverly with her husband Lynn. They have two boys Nathan and Toby. The Becker family enjoys spending time at the lake during the warm months and wishing it was warmer the rest of the months.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I enjoy assisting educators and those who support public education. This position is a good blend of many interests of mine.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mrs. Ellermeier – business teacher
  • School Mascot?  Trojans
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Sloppy Joe with a tator triangle
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  DeNo’s in Snyder, NE with Blake Shelton – seems like his kind of place
  • Favorite Movie?  Ferris Beuller’s Day Off

Matt Belka - Director of Marketing, Communications & Advocacy
Graduate of Lincoln Public Schools
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Matt Belka sqMatt brings knowledge, creativity, and experience to the role of Director of Marketing, Communications & Advocacy for NASB. Responsible for marketing the various programs and services to promote the defined mission of NASB, Matt serves as the liaison to foster effective communications promoting these programs and services to our members. From creative, to branding, editorial, to design, and then managing the distribution, he makes sure all members are up to speed on all the Association is and does. Matt received his bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Marketing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, after growing up first in Denver, Colorado, then moving to Lincoln where he attended Jr. and Sr. High. Matt enjoys just about anything outdoors and/or on the water, as well as watching his kids various sports and activities. He and his wife Nichol live in Lincoln, and have a daughter, Sophie, and a son, Chase.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  Education and educators have been a huge part of my life. My wife was a special education teacher for 6 years, and has since done in-home daycare and preschool for teachers kids. My mother-in-law was a teacher, and many of my closest friends are public school teachers or administrators throughout the state.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Craig Jones, 3rd & 4th Grade
  • School Mascot?  Spartan
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Favorite places to eat in Nebraska, and someone famous sitting at your table?  Jimi D's (Omaha), & Windy Gap (Paxton), with Randy Savage.
  • Favorite Movies?  Top Guns, Roadhouse, Die Hard, Up

Megan Boldt - Associate Executive Director, Director of ALICAP
Graduate of Sterling Public Schools
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Megan Boldt 2022 sqMegan has been with NASB since January of 2005. When first hired to assist with the ALICAP insurance program, Megan’s duties included monthly mailings to member districts, seasonal insurance projects such a Renewal and quarterly claim reports, maintenance of the ALICAP website, and distribution of all ALICAP safety materials and documents. In February of 2009, Megan attained the role of ALICAP Administrator, which was a position that included management of the ALICAP loss control program, serving as the ALICAP board of trustees’ secretary, and acting as the primary contact and manager for all of ALICAP’s membership. Then, in April of 2013, Megan’s position grew even more. Megan’s current role is two-part, Director of ALICAP and Director of Insurance Programs. Megan not only oversees and manages the ALICAP insurance program, but Megan also oversees the NASB Unemployment Insurance Program, along with maintaining all of the NASB’s insurance policies. Megan received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Bellevue University in June of 2003, and is a 1999 high school graduate of Sterling High School, in Sterling, Nebraska. In Megan’s free time she enjoys running, playing volleyball, and spending time with her family and friends. Megan and her husband Brandon reside in Lincoln, and have three daughters.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I believe in public schools ... and helping them in any way we can feels good!
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mr. Weddle, my accounting and business teacher at Sterling Public Schools (now Principal at West Point Public Schools)
  • School Mascot?  J-E-T-S ... JETS, JETS, JETS!
  • Favorite School Lunch?  All of Sterlings lunches ROCKED!!! I really didn't have any meals there I didn't like. We were lucky kids! However, I would get extra pumped for Runza's.
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  Lead Belly's (Lincoln), with Oprah.
  • Favorite Movie?  A League of Their Own

Craig Caples - Director of Technology
Graduate of Auburn Public Schools
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Craig CaplesCraig started full-time with NASB in September of 2005. His duties include developing and maintaining NASB's websites and applications; managing the servers and network; managing the IT staff, and providing technical support to staff and members. Since starting at the Association, Craig has developed several custom applications to automate many of the day-to-day functions along with developing applications that benefit our members. Craig manages the server network which includes several servers, firewalls, routers, and switches using technologies such as Hyper-V, Dynamics CRM, Exchange, SharePoint, Backup Exec, SQL Server, and various custom built applications. Craig graduated from Auburn High School in 1999. During his junior year in high school he joined the United States Army Reserves as an Automated Logistical Specialist. He attended military school at Fort Lee, VA and graduated as the Honor Graduate for his class. Craig then attended Peru State College until moving to Lincoln in 2001. He graduated from Southeast Community College in December of 2005 with a degree in Microcomputer Technology. Craig then earned his second degree, Bachelors of Science, from the University of Bellevue in 2008. Craig continued his education and ended up completing his Masters in Management of Information Systems in 2010.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  Second semester of my junior year in high school I took my first programming class and immediately realized that is what I wanted to do for a career. I ended up joining the computer programming team that year and winning some awards. After working in the IT field, I can’t imagine ever doing anything else. I really enjoy programming and working with other technologies
  • Favorite Teacher?  My high school wrestling coach and history teacher, Mr. Oliver.
  • School Mascot?  Bulldogs
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Pizza
  • Dinner with anyone, who would it be, and what would you serve?  My grandparents. I'd serve up some ribs, brisket, pulled pork, bbq beans, garlic mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and some cornbread
  • Favorite Movie?  The Rocky movies (I like them all)

Abi Carlson - Event & Search Service Associate
Graduate of Raymond Central Public Schools
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Abi 2022 500 whiteAbi serves as the Event & Service Search Associate. Her roles are to assist in planning and executing events while assisting in the search service to help boards find suitable superintendent candidates. Abi earned her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Restaurant, & Tourism Management with a minor in Leadership & Communication at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, visiting local wineries/brewers, and traveling. Abi lives in Lincoln with her fiancé, Eli, and dog Brody.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I have grown up with my parents both working in a public school, so education has had a profound impact on me. Being able to serve on the search team and execute events while being involved with public education is home to me.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mrs. Stacey Kopecky – 4th Grade
  • School Mascot?  Mustangs
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Chicken Nuggets
  • Favorite places to eat in Nebraska, and someone famous sitting at your table?  MoMo Pizzeria & Ristorante (Lincoln), joining me would be Reese Witherspoon
  • Favorite Movies?  Bridesmaids, Sweet Home Alabama, and of course How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey)

Colby Coash - Associate Executive Director and Director of Government Relations
Graduate of Rock County Public Schools
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Colby 2022 500 whiteColby joined NASB as the Associate Executive Director and Director of Government Relations in June of 2018. Colby will work to assure NASB has a strong voice of advocacy for public schools within the halls of the Capitol. This position allows him to connect elected officials together for the benefit of Nebraska’s children. Colby spent eight years in the Nebraska Unicameral serving southwest Lincoln, where he became known as a Senator who brought people together. His emphasis in his legislative service was in supporting Nebraska’s most vulnerable populations. Colby was born and raised in Bassett, Nebraska where he learned the value of hard work. Colby has made Lincoln his home since attending undergraduate and graduate school at UNL. Colby has worked in the field of leadership development and is an adjunct professor. Colby enjoys working on his old cars and can be found acting in regional movies. He and his wife Rhonda live in Lincoln with their son Cole.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I have a strong voice for advocacy and working with other elected officials is a great way to use that voice
  • Favorite Teacher?  My first one. Mrs. Stec, my kindergarten teacher
  • School Mascot?  Rock County Tigers (now the North Central Knights)
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Taco Day!
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  Range Café (Bassett - my hometown) with John Wayne who’s likeness is all over the place.
  • Favorite Movies?  I watch Indiana Jones movies whenever they are on

Katie Coble - Board Leadership Associate
Graduate of Mullen Public Schools
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Katie 2022 sqAs a Board Leadership Associate, Katie provides support to board members primarily through Superintendent Evaluation and Leadership Encompass 360. She also provides support to the members of the Nebraska Administrative Education Professionals group. Katie grew up on her family ranch in the Sandhills and attended school in Mullen. She moved to Lincoln after graduating from Doane University where she studied Psychology and Sociology. In her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, spending time outdoors, and finding new restaurants to try with her boyfriend, Justin.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  Being from rural Nebraska, I have always had an appreciation for public education. Working for the Association allows me to combine that appreciation with my love of helping others.
  • Favorite teacher?  Too many favorites to pick from… Mrs. Hardin (science), Mrs. Brost (FCS), Mrs. Marks (2nd grade), the list goes on!
  • School Mascot?  Broncos
  • Favorite school lunch?  Last day of school when they would grill hamburgers!
  • Favorite place to eat in NE, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  Red's Cafe (in Mullen) with Dolly Parton
  • Favorite movies?  It's a toss-up between Dirty Dancing and 8 Seconds!

 

Sharon Endorf - Director of Member Engagement
Graduate of Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools
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Sharon

Sharon has been with NASB since 2012. In her role as Director of Member Engagement she is responsible for the planning and implementation for all Association events, including the State Education Conference; annual Membership Drive; and sharing information about NASB with each member district/ESU. Sharon is a native of Clatonia, Nebraska graduating from Wilber-Clatonia in 1992. She received her bachelor’s degree from Ray College of Design, Chicago in 1995. Sharon and her husband Dan reside in Kearney. Their daughter Ella is in Law School at the University of Virginia, son Austin is a junior at Nebraska Wesleyan University, and son Asher is a junior at Kearney High School. Sharon enjoys traveling, entertaining, spending time at the lake, and cheering on her kids in their activities.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I get a great sense of enjoyment and fulfillment from planning events for our members that support what they do for Nebraska schools.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mrs. Leifeld, High School music teacher
  • School Mascot?  Wolverines
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Pizza
  • Dinner with anyone, who would it be, and what would you serve?  My Dad, Roast Beef
  • Favorite Movie?  Major League

Caden Frank - Board Leadership Associate
Graduate of Millard Public Schools
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Caden white bkg sqAs a Board Leadership Associate, Caden is primarily responsible for the administering of surveys and the Community Engagement Services offered by the Board Leadership team. Caden is a graduate of Millard West, who then went on to Fort Hays State University where he graduated with his B.S. in Organizational Leadership and is currently obtaining his M.S.E in Higher Education and Student Affairs. In his free time, Caden loves to spend time outside and play soccer.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I have a strong desire to connect people together and education and community engagement help me to do that in a positive way.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Dr. Seth Kastle, College
  • School Mascot?  Wildcats
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Ham and Cheese Panini
  • Dinner with someone famous? Who would it be and what would be served? Shaquille O’Neal and I eating my mom’s fried chicken, dad’s mashed potatoes, corn, and blueberry muffins.
  • Favorite Movie?  Pride and Prejudice

Marcia Herring - Director of Board Leadership
Graduate of O'Neill Public Schools
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MH2020 whiteMarcia began her service to public education as a school board member at District 145, Waverly, serving three terms. During her tenure as a local board member, she was elected by her peers to serve on the NASB Board of Directors — also completing three terms as Director. Through her service to the Association, Marcia began her work as a superintendent search consultant in 1997. She was appointed as Director of Superintendent Search Services for the Association in 2004, which expanded her role and opportunities to work with board members and superintendents. Her experience equipped her well to provide training and support to school boards and enabled her the opportunity to assume the Director of Board Leadership position in April 2013. Marcia is honored to be a member of the NASB staff, providing services to our members in their governance role of increasing student achievement. Marcia and her husband Mike have two grown children Marcus and Meredith. She enjoys cooking, reading, gardening with her husband, and spending time with her favorite son and favorite daughter!

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I genuinely enjoy my supportive role and the opportunity to help others be successful
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mrs. Naylor, 4th Grade
  • School Mascot?  Eagles
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Chili and Cinnamon Rolls
  • Dinner with anyone, who would it be, and what would you serve?  My Grandmother Mary and I would serve her Filet au Poivre, chive/garlic mashed potatoes, an amazing romaine salad, dinner rolls made by her recipe, and attempt to replica her cherry pie for dessert!
  • Favorite Movie?  Simon Birch

Sallie Horky - Chief Operating Officer
Graduate of Crete Public Schools
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Sallie Horky sqSallie Horky is the Chief Operating Officer for the Association and has been an employee with NASB since 1991. She is responsible for aligning and developing key organizational functions including external partnerships for endorsed programs, Board of Directors operations, and human resources and facilities management. She also oversees accounts receivables for the Association. Sallie is a member of the Lincoln Human Resource Management Association, Society for Human Resource Management and Nebraska Society for Association Executives. She received an Associate’s degree from Southeast Community College-Lincoln in June of 1991 and serves on the Educators Health Alliance Board of Directors, Lease Purchase Program Board of Directors, and Nebraska Public Leadership Foundation Board of Directors. Sallie was born and raised in Crete, Nebraska, graduated from Crete Public High School, and currently lives in Lincoln. She has two boys Kyle and Mason and enjoys traveling, sports, volunteering, cake decorating and the performing arts.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I enjoy the challenge, appreciate my co-workers and fully support public education and what we do for our members and the children.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mr. Bernie Ludvik
  • School Mascot?  Cardinals
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Mac and cheese
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  Jams (Omaha), Samuel L. Jackson, because he makes me laugh.
  • Favorite Movie?  Julie and Julia

Rachel Horstman - Business Manager
Graduate of Sterling Public Schools
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RH white 2020Rachel joined NASB in November 2003, as the Accounting Administrator for the organization. Since then, her role with the Association has evolved with the growth of NASB and its several adjoined companies, where she serves as the Association’s Business Manager. Her primary responsibilities include financial reporting, audit preparation, cash flows management, investments, and oversight of the financial operations of these companies. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Doane College in 2009, with focused studies in business and accounting. She and her family enjoy life in the country and look forward to the many activities they are able to share outdoors.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I've always loved Math and being able to test your answer to a problem by plugging the answer back in. There really is no grey area, which I can completely appreciate.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mr. Wusk, High School History Teacher/Girls Basketball Coach
  • School Mascot?  Jets!
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Hot Ham and Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich on a homemade bum (usually served with creamed rice and cinnamon)
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  TNT Smokin’ BBQ in St. Mary, NE. It’s some of the best BBQ you can get and happens to lie within just minutes of our home. Our entire family can find something they love off of the menu. I’d love to enjoy a meal and conversation with Robert Redford or Paul Newman.
  • Favorite Movie?  Shawshank Redemption

Nicole Kraus - Events & Engagement Associate
Graduate of Tri County Public Schools
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Kraus sq

Nicole is a native of DeWitt, Nebraska graduating from Tri County. Following that she received an Associates of Science Degree from Southeast Community College - Beatrice and the her Massage Therapy Degree from the Myotherapy Institute in Lincoln. Nicole and her husband David reside in Syracuse. Their son Riley lives in Des Moines, daughter Paige and granddaughter Harper live in Bellevue, daughter Avery is a Junior at SDA high school, son Landry is in 4th grade, and son Grayson is in 1st grade at SDA elementary. Nicole enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, photography, traveling, taking her kids to cattle shows, going to all her kid’s sports activities, and entertaining.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do? I enjoy working with an amazing team that can plan and offer events that help our school leaders network and grow in their school leadership roles.
  • Favorite teacher: Mr. Burgett, High School Biology teacher
  • School Mascot: Trojans
  • Favorite School Lunch: Pizza and wasp bread for dessert
  • Dinner with anyone, who would it be, and what would you serve? My dad, T-bone steak and fried potatoes
  • Favorite Movies? How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, Dirty Dancing and The Proposal  

Kem 2022 500Kem Loecker - Executive Administrative Assistant
Children attended Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Public Schools
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Kem serves as the Executive Administrative Assistant for NASB. A native of Grand Island, she received an Associates of Science Degree in Business and Computer Science for Central Community College. Kem and her husband Chad reside in Syracuse. They have two sons, Brandon & Tanner. Prior to joining NASB, Kem was a Paraprofessional at Syracuse Elementary for 13 years. In her free time, she enjoys attending her kids activities, traveling, going to Syracuse legion baseball games coached by her husband, spending time outdoors when it is warm, and going to Husker football games.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I enjoy the variety of tasks performed each day to ensure our organization runs smoothly, supporting my coworkers and helping our leaders in education continue to grow.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mrs. Rogers (elementary)
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Tacos & Pizza
  • Favorite places to eat in Nebraska, and someone famous sitting at your table?  Lazlo’s with Warren Buffet
  • Favorite Movie?  American Sniper

Jim Luebbe - Director of Policy Services
Graduate of Centennial Public Schools
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Jim LuebbeJim currently serves as Director of Policy Services. He has worked as a school board policy consultant for the Association since 2000, updating and customizing the Policy Manuals for scores of districts across the entire state. He is a former member of the NASB Board of Directors, was a board member at Centennial Public Schools in Utica for 11 years and currently sits on the Board of the Centennial Schools Foundation. Jim is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Southeast Community College at Milford, and has taken graduate coursework at UNL and the University of Iowa. He has been a member of the American Association of State Policy Services for 10 years.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I enjoy the scope of all that is involved in school policy. School policy is related to school law the same as engineering is related to pure science. At some point it takes in nearly the entire width and depth of human activity and can’t be neatly summarized by a book of statutes.
  • Favorite Teacher?  My High School math teacher Larry Paxson who tied the study of math to the history of all great ideas and the inner workings of the mechanics of nature.
  • School Mascot?  Beaver Crossing Beavers
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Orange pop and an ice cream bar at Ed Noler’s Pool Hall
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  Johnny's Cafe in the old Omaha stockyards. My dinner guest would be Nebraska's World Welterweight Boxing Champion Terence Crawford so we could talk about all the great boxers and boxing writers of history.
  • Favorite Movie?  Brazil

Kari Stephens - Board Leadership Associate
Son Attends Lincoln Public Schools
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Kari Stephens white 500Kari serves as a Board Leadership Associate, providing support and development of our current programs and services. Her passion for education, equality, inclusion, and best practices for educators and students drives her motivation and enthusiasm to be a part of the NASB Board Leadership department. Born and raised in Colorado, Kari attended Union College in Lincoln and received a BS in Elementary Education. She has over 25 years of teaching experience working in both private and public schools teaching Kindergarten through Twelfth grade, in many parts of the country. Kari and her husband are back in Lincoln and have three boys, Dakota, Kye, and Kru. In her free time, she loves to read, scrapbook, dance, and listen to 80s music.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  I am passionate about working with administrators and boards to add an educator’s perspective and lens to impact students and education in Nebraska.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Elementary – Mr. Hallam; High School - Miss Fritz, English and Yearbook; College – Dr. Simmons – Psychology and Education
  • School Mascot?  Mustangs
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Pizza
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  Taco Inn (don’t judge) with Michelle Obama
  • Favorite Movies?  Footloose, but a close tie with Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman

Spencer Vogt - Board Leadership Data Analyst
Graduate of Papillion La Vista Community Schools
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Spencer 500Spencer has been active in the field of education for the past 18 years, first as a classroom teacher at Hastings Middle School, then as a college professor at Peru State College in the School of Education. During those years he continued to grow his passion for education while he earned a MS in Educational Technology and a PhD in the same field. Spencer brings with him 10 years of classroom experience, as well as, multiple years of data analysis and research experience to the Association. To this end, he will help conduct multiple surveys and analyses for Strategic Planning, Community Engagement, and Superintendent Evaluations. Spencer currently lives in Nebraska with his wife Kimmie and two children Marie and Sawyer.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do? I am highly passionate about helping schools improve in everyway possible and have made that my life’s work.
  • Favorite Teacher? Mrs. Miller (3rd grade), Mr. Smith (7th Grade), and Mr. Nienhueser (11th and 12th Grades)
  • School Mascot? Monarch, as in a king, not the butterfly. 
  • Favorite School Lunch? Mexican pizza, or the rectangle pepperoni pizza.
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table? Stella’s (Bellevue) sitting with John Krasinski and Emily Blunt
  • Favorite Movies? Back to the Future Series, Last of the Mohicans, Willow, Star Trek, and Star Wars.

Lindsey Wooton - Administrative Specialist
Graduate of Southern School District 1
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LW 2021 white sq 500Lindsey serves as an Administrative Specialist, providing support to the Associate Executive Directors; Director of ALICAP; Director of Marketing, Communications & Advocacy; and Director of Policy Services. Lindsey was born in southeast Iowa and moved many times, attending six different schools from K-12, finally settling in and graduating from Southern High School in Wymore. She attended Northwest Missouri State University where she received a BS in Marketing. She enjoys reading, listening to true crime podcasts, traveling, sports (Boomer Sooner), and spending time outdoors if it's warm. Lindsey lives in Lincoln with her boyfriend Darrell, dog Chevy, and chinchilla Juno.

QUICK SIX:

  • Why do you do what you do?  My parents are educators which means I grew up with education in the forefront of my life. “Everyday is a school day,” was something I heard frequently, and it stuck. This position gives me the opportunity to help schools get the most out of their membership whether it’s through ALICAP or understanding how legislative bills affect them.
  • Favorite Teacher?  Mr. Jensen – Algebra (which is not my favorite subject)
  • School Mascot?  Raiders
  • Favorite School Lunch?  Homemade Runza
  • Favorite place to eat in Nebraska, and name someone famous sitting at your table?  Back Alley BBQ (Beatrice) with Baker Mayfield
  • Favorite Movies?  Remember the Titans, Across the Universe, The 10 Things I Hate About You

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