The Nebraska Council of School Administrators presented its annual Friend of Education and Distinguished Service Awards on Thursday, July 30, at Administrators’ Days, the association’s premiere conference held each summer.
Nebraska State Senator Steve Lathrop and the Nebraska School Psychologists Association were honored separately with the NCSA Friend of Education Award, which has been given annually to non-member(s) who have demonstrated exceptional, distinguished leadership on behalf of public education since its inception in 2012.
“Both recipients have done outstanding work on behalf of education in the state of Nebraska,” said NCSA Executive Director Dr. Mike Dulaney.
“I am very honored to accept the award,” said Senator Lathrop. “I appreciate not only the award and the recognition, but the opportunity to work with Nebraska’s administrators over a variety of subjects during the 10 years I have been honored to serve District 12. I share their concern for a strong and properly-financed K-12 system, and I will continue to work for that.”
Dr. Dulaney said that it has been a privilege to work alongside Senator Lathrop on a variety of impactful bills, mentioning LB 260, concussion protocol legislation that Senator Lathrop championed, and LB 397 in particular.
“Senator Lathrop has been a true ally to those in education, and through his work has benefited not only administrators, but teachers, students, school boards, and parents,” said Dr. Dulaney.
The NCSA Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually since 1970 to an individual or individuals who have demonstrated exceptional, distinguished leadership in public education.
This year, NCSA honored Annette Eyman, Director of Communications for Papillion-LaVista Community Schools, and Steve Milliken, Deputy Commissioner Student and Client Success and Services at the Nebraska Department of Education, as recipients of the Distinguished Service Award.
Milliken assumed his current role in 2019 after serving four years as Administrator of Special Education at NDE. For 21 years, he was Director of Special Services for Westside Community Schools in Omaha.
“Steve is a champion for students with disabilities, not only in Nebraska, but across the nation,” said NCSA Chair and Millard Public Schools Director of Special Education Dr. Terry Houlton.
Eyman, who carries an Accreditation in Public Relations, is a leader in school communication in the state and served as Nebraska School Public Relations Association President for nearly 10 years.
“Annette Eyman and Steve Milliken have each rendered outstanding, unselfish service to NCSA and have contributed significantly to the quality of education at the state and local levels,” said Dr. Dulaney. “They are true experts in their fields.”
Administrators’ Days was held virtually this year, beginning with Wednesday’s NDE Day: Disruption and Innovation program, which included an address from Commissioner of Education Dr. Matt Blomstedt.
The conference, which ran through Friday, featured a combination of nationally acclaimed speakers such as Mike Veny, Frank DeAngelis and Danny Brassell, a live-from-Washington D.C. federal legislative update from Foresight Law+Policy co-founder and native Nebraskan Reg Leichty, and several breakout sessions led by Nebraska administrators.
“Though this year’s event looked different than in years past, we were able to hold a conference filled with informative and beneficial sessions and presentations relevant to the challenges that face our school administrators heading into the new school year,” said Dulaney.