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Kindergarten Teacher (Distant Learners)


Cox is once again partnering with NFM to honor the amazing work of educators in the area. The Cox Education Heroes program offers an opportunity to celebrate a favorite teacher or school employee — someone who is making a difference in education or in the lives of students. 


Twenty-five (25) selected honorees will be featured online and will receive a prize package consisting of a $500 gift card to NFM and an Education Heroes t-shirt.


Nominations were accepted

Wednesday, March 1 through Friday, March 31, 2023.

Nominees must be an employee at a private or public primary or secondary school in Cox’s greater Omaha, Nebraska service area, which includes the following cities: Omaha, Bellevue, Ralston, LaVista, Papillion, Bennington, Westside, Gretna, Elkhorn, Millard, Valley, Fremont and Blair, Nebraska; and Council Bluffs, Crescent, Carter Lake and Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

Superintendents, principles, IT Department Leaders or any other employee who is responsible for making procurement decisions are not eligible and cannot be nominated.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THE PROGRAM. Nominators must be legal residents of the 50 US & DC who are 18+ and reside in Cox’s greater Omaha, NE service area. Begins 8:00 a.m. CT on 3/1/23 & ends 11:59 p.m. CT on 6/1/23. Void where prohibited. Subject to Official Rules, available at  Sponsor: Cox Communications, Inc.

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Rebecca Mergens
Teacher - Heritage Elementary

When school started, we had no idea what a prodigious teacher we would encounter! Mrs. Mergens has an inclusive environment for a diverse group of students, some with special needs & her patience, kindness, acceptance & flexibility are unmatched when it comes to working with students in her classroom. When our child was hesitant to wear the prescribed eyepatch to school, Mrs. Mergens wore one herself until our child felt comfortable enough to join her. During field day, when two of her students were reluctant to run through the obstacle course, she kindly grabbed both of their hands & ran the whole course with them, time & time again. We have seen our child grow & flourish this year because of Mrs. Mergens. She is a teacher we will never forget & is a true hero!

Frances Finn
Para - Burke High School

I have been a student at Burke High School for three years, and Ms. Finn has helped me so much during this time. She is kind and caring and helps me when

I have trouble doing

things or can't                         figure out my work.                       When we go to                                   P.E., and they have                      karaoke, I sing, and Ms. Finn            dances to my songs! Ms. Finn makes being in school more fun. I know she cares because she is always looking out for me. Ms. Finn does not just help me, she helps all the kids. She is always happy and makes us feel proud of ourselves when we do our work. I have been in school for a long time and had a lot of teachers and helpers, and Ms. Finn is my favorite one. It is good to know she is there to help all the other students and me. I appreciate Ms. Finn so much and want everyone to know she is a good person!

Carol Steiner 
Teacher - Westside Middle School

Ms. Steiner has always cared deeply about her students. Even for those who just needed a place to be, she always had her door open, and she had a lasting impact on all of her old students. A fond memory I have is even after 7th grade, when I was in her class, I visited her every day of 8th grade. She cared about everyone she was with, and she still is an impotent person in my life two years later. She is a mentor and a second mother to me. She is someone anyone can trust, someone you can genuinely talk to. I owe her so much, and I would have had a much different

experience in middle school

if it wasn't for her.

Jimeal Phillips
Para - Birchcrest Elementary

Jimeal Philips is a behavior skills program paraprofessional and a bus driver. He works and lives by the motto of any student, anywhere, anytime. Students light up when they see him. He has a way of balancing high expectations while always meeting students where they are. I have seen him sit down on the floor multiple times with a student who is experiencing a hard time. I have also seen him encourage students to persevere during tough academic tests.

Jimeal gets kids. He has never forgotten what it's like to be a kid. We, along with our students, have some hard days. Jimeal is one of the first to stay a little later or eat lunch in the room so we can reflect and plan better support for our students. I have never worked with a paraprofessional who wants to see and cares so much about students succeeding. We have some tough students, and I have never seen him give up on one of 'em! In addition to seeing students succeed, he also wants to see teachers succeed. He knows everyone in the building and always has a smile for them. All of the Birchcrest staff look forward to Jimeal working in their room because of his positive presence.


I hope you consider Jimeal as he truly is an education hero at Birchcrest!

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