Year Awarded: 2015 Omaha Burke High School Teacher in the Burke High School Air and Space Academy

LeeAnn is a courageous developer of new programs. Teaching biology at Omaha North LeeAnn kept hearing the word “biotechnology.” So she made up her mind to understand the relationship of biology to technology and ended up developing a nationally recognized biotechnology program.

When she was asked to use what she had learned to expand the Omaha Public Sschools programs at the Henry Doorly Zoo, she rose to the challenge and developed programs with local veterinarians that allowed students to connect their science learning to the real world.

Not resting on her successes, she then developed the Burke High Air and Space Academy with partnership opportunities at the Eppley Airfield and the Civil Air Patrol. At the Academy, her students learn a number of subjects with an air and space slant. If students wish, they can learn enough by the time of graduation to pass the written pilot’s license test. To further her own learning in the area, LeeAnn spent a summer in NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, an experience that took her personally into the stratosphere!

“I am not your teacher. I am your facilitator and I want to be your mentor.” LeeAnn Vaughn