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Platteview High School

Home of the Trojans

Our Staff

Our team of educators is completely committed to guiding our students toward success. Our teachers believe in a bright future for every student here at PHS, and they work tirelessly to help them unlock that future. Please take a moment to become more acquainted with our talented faculty and staff, and be sure to contact them with your questions or concerns.

Administration

Ron Alexander
Principal, Athletics Director
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Biography

About Ron Alexander

I have been in education at the high school or college level for the better part of 28 years. I spent my first nine years in the classroom teaching physical education and health. In addition to teaching, I have coached many sports. My most extensive coaching experience was in the sport of volleyball, which I coached at the high school and college levels for many years. My most recent experience was with Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado, where I worked in the central office as the district athletics director. 

I am passionate about the role of education in the lives of our youth. When a community rallies around every single child, great things can happen. 

One of my primary goals here is to make Platteview High School exceptional. I believe it takes a great deal of work to accomplish this. Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams (the second president of the United States) had it right many years ago when she said, "Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence." The staff at PHS and I will set high expectations for our students as we work towards achieving great things.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Joanna, (22 years this July) and our children: Trey (19), Hannah (17), and Ben (12). I love to run, spend time outdoors, and enjoy activities with my family. Go Trojans!

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Jerry Layher
Instrumental Music, Assistant Activity Director
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About Jerry Layher

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Michael McLaughlin
Assistant Principal, Activities Director
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About Michael McLaughlin

This is my first year at Springfield High School. I taught eighth-grade American history at Plattsmouth (NE) Community Middle School from 1998 to 2005. I also taught world history, AP world history, American history, and 21st century world studies at Bellevue (NE) West High School from 2005 to 2012. From 2012 to 2015, I served as an assistant principal at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs before spending the last few years as principal of Kanesville Alternative Learning Center (also in Council Bluffs). I received a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Peru State College in 2004 and a master's degree in educational leadership from Doane College in 2011. My wife works as a dean of students at Omaha South High School, and I have a 20-year-old daughter named Katie who is a sophomore at UNO and a 17-year-old son named Owen who is a junior at Papillion-LaVista High School. We enjoy traveling as a family as often as possible, either to a beach or the mountains.

I am excited to join an excellent team, and I look forward to serving the students and community of Springfield.

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Amie Christiansen
Counselor for Grades 10-12
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About Amie Christiansen

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Teachers

Lathasha Clark
Special Education
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About Lathasha Clark

Mrs. Clark is a part of the special education and co-teaching program for Platteview High School. Mrs. Clark has a bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota in special education k-12 and a minor as a reading specialists. She also has a master's from the University of Nebraska at Kearney as a co-teaching and inclusion specialist. Mrs. Clark loves to spend time with family and friends and make time for traveling. She has currently been to six different countries and cannot wait to explore more.

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Jon Comine
Social Science
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About Jon Comine

Mr. Comine serves as a social studies teacher and student council sponsor at Platteview High School. Mr. Comine earned bachelor's degrees in political science and secondary education and a master's degree in educational administration, all from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Mr. Comine currently teaches U.S. history, AP government, and twenty-first century studies. Mr. Comine is an avid sports fan of Kansas Jayhawk basketball, Kansas City Royals baseball, and Nebraska-Omaha hockey. He lives in Omaha with his wife and daughter.

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Nicholas Crouse
Physical Education
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About Nicholas Crouse

Mr. Crouse serves as the strength & conditioning coach for Platteview High School and Platteview Central. He also serves as an assistant baseball coach and middle school football coach. Mr. Crouse earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Northwest Missouri State University in 2013. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in K-12 educational leadership from Northwest Missouri State University with an anticipated completion date of May 2020. Mr. Crouse is CPR/1st Aid certified and is an original member of the National High School Strength Coaches Association (NHSSCA). Outside of school, Mr. Crouse enjoys spending time with his fiancé, Samantha, playing with their dog, Bella, and cheering for the Northwest Bearcats, Iowa Hawkeyes, Kansas City Chiefs, and Kansas City Royals.

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Alex Dostal
Mathematics
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About Alex Dostal

Welcome to mathematics at Platteview High School!

My name is Alex Dostal, and I teach Algebra I, Algebra II Concepts & Skills, and AP Calculus. I truly believe that learning math is a process and that the old sentiment, "I just can't do math" is completely false! In my classroom I like to encourage students to develop a "growth mindset." This means that we need to understand that in math we will make mistakes; that is how our brains grow!

One of my favorite quotes comes from Michael Jordan "I can accept failure; I cannot accept not trying." I am confident that if you show up each day and put forth your best effort you will be successful. The key is being able to persevere through the many challenging aspects of the content to see the big picture at the end.

I also serve as a coach for the junior high cross country and track & field teams. I thoroughly enjoy working with all students and I believe this is an exceptional school! I am looking forward to another great year at PHS and I hope you are too! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Bryan Dutcher
Science
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About Bryan Dutcher

Mr. Dutcher serves as the biology, AP biology, and anatomy/physiology teacher at Platteview High School. He also serves as the varsity baseball coach. Mr. Dutcher earned his bachelor's degree and his teaching certification from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. Mr. Dutcher enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, golfing, and watching the Huskers. He lives in Ashland with his wife, Amber, and their two children, Nora and Hattie.

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Kirsten Ehrke
World Languages
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About Kirsten Ehrke

My name is Kirsten Ehrke, and I have been teaching Spanish in the Omaha area for the past 18 years. I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with my BS in education with a Spanish endorsement. I also have my master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Peru State University. I am one of five national board certified teachers in world language education in the state of Nebraska. In the fall, I am also a world language methods teacher at UNO.

I have two boys who attend school in the district and who keep my husband and me extremely busy. Our entire family is passionate about sports, especially when talking about the Huskers. I play sand volleyball in my free time and enjoy traveling both inside and outside of the United States.

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Christina Elder
Physical Education, Health
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About Christina Elder

My name is Christina Elder, and I am starting my sixth year at Platteview High School and Central Junior High. I teach physical education and health at both the high school and junior high levels. I earned my bachelor's degree from Wayne State College, and I am currently half way through my master's in athletics administration at Concordia University. I am also going into my fifth year as the head girls track and field coach. I married my wonderful husband, Tyler, four years ago, and we have two beautiful daughters, Jocelyn, 3, and Taytum, who was born last April.

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Kelly Falch
Language Arts
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About Kelly Falch

Ms. Falch is currently teaching ninth and tenth grade English and honors English. This will be her sixth year at PHS. Before coming to PHS, she taught in Minnesota. Ms. Falch has a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her daughter and husband.

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Dustin Foutch
Industrial Technology
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About Dustin Foutch

Mr. Foutch is entering his tenth year of teaching, six of which he spent teaching industrial technology at Platteview High School. Mr. Foutch teaches manufacturing woods and metals, advanced manufacturing woods and metals, design and fabrication, and junior high technology II, and he is the junior high SkillsUSA advisor. Mr. Foutch earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in administration from Wayne State College. Coach Foutch has been the head wrestling coach for the Platteview Trojans for five years and enjoys spending time doing outside activities (camping, riding motorcycles, traveling, and watching/playing sports) with his beautiful wife, Jesalynn, and son, Ryker.

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Anna Hartwig
Language Arts
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About Anna Hartwig

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Andrew Hopp
Mathematics
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About Andrew Hopp

Education

Doctoral studies - January 2017
UNL December 2021 (hopefully)

Master's of science in secondary education with an emphasis in mathematics
UNO August 2010

Bachelor of science in secondary education with endorsements in mathematics and coaching
UNL May 2006

Experience
Platteview High School
Springfield, Nebraska
2008-present

Treynor Community Schools
Treynor, Iowa
2006-2008

My philosophy is to teach you how to be successful when something is hard. I want you to leave my classroom knowing that, while the material may be challenging, you can find a way to succeed. Life will throw you unexpected challenges. You must rise to the challenge.

Come to my class ready for the challenge of bettering yourself and succeeding in something that you thought you could not do. See you in class.

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Jim Jennings
Career & College Readiness
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About Jim Jennings

Mr. Jennings teaches a variety of business classes, including introduction to business, marketing & management, personal finance, management & leadership, business law, and keyboarding, and he is responsible for the work-based learning/internship program. He is also the Federal Perkins Technology Grant coordinator for Springfield Platteview Community Schools as well as our girls basketball coach. Mr. Jennings earned his bachelor's degree from Midland University and his master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in Springfield with his wife, Pat, and enjoys playing golf, traveling, and reading.

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Scott Jenson
Physical Education & Photography
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About Scott Jenson

Mr. Jenson serves as the physical education teacher for grades seven through twelve, serving both Platteview Central and Platteview High School. He also is the advisor for the high school yearbook and teaches photography classes. Mr. Jenson earned two bachelor's degrees in physical education and journalism from Northwest Missouri State University. Mr. Jenson enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, hunting, and photography.

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Elizabeth Johnson
Mathematics
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About Elizabeth Johnson

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Michael Kersulov
Language Arts and Journalism
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About Michael Kersulov

Mr. Kersulov is a teacher in the English language arts department at Platteview High School. He completed his undergraduate degree at Central Missouri State University and his master's at the University of Central Missouri, and he is completing his PhD in literacy, culture, and language education at Indiana University. His academic interests are in English literature, literacy, social justice, and visual rhetoric, including comics and digital compositions. He also enjoys playing fantasy football and tabletop games, as well as cycling and attending comic book conventions. He lives with his wife and two cats in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Paul Ketchen
Instrumental Music
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About Paul Ketchen

Hello! My name is Paul Ketchen, and I am very excited to be teaching junior high band at SPCS this year! My family and I just arrived from Boston (where I was born and raised), and we are really enjoying living in the Aksarben area and experiencing everything greater Omaha has to offer. When I'm not teaching, I love spending time with my wife Jenna and two amazing kiddos, Adaline and Elliott. I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, hiking, cycling, and running, and I am looking forward to running in the Omaha marathon this September.

Education & Experience:

I earned a BA music degree with performance honors from Syracuse University, serving as an undergraduate TA in ear training and sight singing courses and a masters in music ed from Florida State University, serving as a graduate TA with the FSU Bands. After grad school, I was thrilled to return to the community that got me started on my musical journey and have the opportunity to "pay it forward" on the south shore of MA as I served as Director of Instrumental Music at Hanover High School for seven years, teaching AP Music Theory, music tech, concert band, marching band, jazz band, jazz combo, and percussion ensemble. I then taught in Belmont Public Schools in Belmont, MA, with a similar teaching assignment in addition to fourth-grade beginner band, Saturday morning music school, and advising the BHS chapter of Tri-M music honor society. Although I enjoy playing every instrument, the trombone is my principal, and I always love playing in orchestras, jazz bands, pit orchestras, community bands, pretty much anywhere I get a chance to play and make music with new folks! I have taught private lessons to all ages from fourth-grade beginners through college performance majors, and I have guest conducted, cliniced, and hosted a variety of jazz, concert, marching band camps, and festivals at the middle and high school level.

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Matt King
Vocal Music
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About Matt King

Mr. King served as the seventh through twelfth-grade vocal music teacher at Platteview Junior and Senior High School since 1999. Mr. King earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music and music education, respectively, from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He has served on the boards of the Nebraska Music Education Association and the Nebraska Choral Directors Association. Mr. King's wife, Elizabeth, works as a choreographer and part-time accompanist at Platteview, and they have two children.

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Jennifer Kreifels
Mathematics
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About Jennifer Kreifels

Mrs. Kreifels serves as a math teacher at Platteview High School. Mrs. Kreifels earned her bachelor's degree and master of arts in teaching from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This is Mrs. Kreifels' third year teaching at Springfield Platteview Community Schools. She enjoys spending time outdoors and being with her family and friends. She lives in Springfield, Nebraska with her husband, Joe, and their two children.

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Adam Kuhl
Physical Education
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About Adam Kuhl

Mr. Kuhl is starting his thirteenth year in the Springfield Platteview Community School District where he serves as a high school physical education teacher as well as a junior high football coach and junior high girls basketball coach. Mr. Kuhl earned a bachelor's degree in education from Wayne State College and a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Mr. Kuhl and his wife have two kids, and he enjoys spending time with his family, watching football, and being active.

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Steve Lundeen
Social Science
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About Steve Lundeen

Mr. Lundeen has served as a social studies teacher in the Springfield Community Schools School District since 1998. Prior to his post at Platteview, he was a social studies teacher with Stuart Public Schools School District and taught at Stuart High School. Mr. Lundeen earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Midland University and his master's degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is also pursuing a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Doane University.

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Patti Layher
Business
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About Patti Layher

In 1986, I received my bachelor's degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Kearney State College. After working for several years and staying home to raise my four children, I returned to school and completed my business education degree in 2005 from Peru State College.

I have volunteered and/or worked at Platteview High School since 1999. From 2002 to 2005, I worked in the high school office, and in the fall of 2006, I started as a business and information technology teacher for Platteview, teaching grades seven through twelve. I currently teach seventh grade business technology exploration, eighth grade business and career exploration, information technology I & II, introduction to digital design, digital media, web design, and economics. I also coach and direct the PHS Color Guard and co-sponsor FBLA. I have my MS Word certification, and in the spring of 2017, I became an Apple teacher.

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Julie Lodes
Computer Science
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About Julie Lodes

I am entering year twelve of teaching. I taught math for the first eleven years of my teaching career and am excited to start the computer science program for Platteview High School and Platteview Central Junior High. I will be teaching computer science basics to eighth graders and exploring computer science and AP computer science principles for the high school. 

I received my bachelor's degree from UNL in secondary math education, my master's degree from UNO in secondary administration and supervision, and a second master's degree from UNL in math. I am currently finishing up a computer science endorsement.

I am excited to start another year and can't wait to find out where the journey will take us.

I am available before and after school if you need help. There will be things you find easy and others you may find difficult. But life is all about the challenges you face and how you respond to them.

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Allison Behrens
Art
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About Allison Behrens

Mrs. Behrens is the art teacher for Platteview Central and Platteview High School, and she runs the art club. Mrs. Behrens received her bachelor of fine arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2010 and her teaching certification in May 2012. Mrs. Behrens started out her teaching career by substitute teaching in many districts including Millard, Bellevue, and OPS, before starting at Platteview in 2015. Mrs. Behrens enjoys spending her free time with her family, reading, and creating her own art.

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Laura Lovercheck
Family & Consumer Science
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About Laura Lovercheck

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Jeremy Mahoney
Instructional Technology
P: (402) 339-3606
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About Jeremy Mahoney

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Mark McLaughlin
Trojan Academic Center
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About Mark McLaughlin

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Alex Nielsen
Science
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Sarah Ortiz
Science
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About Sarah Ortiz

Mrs. Ortiz is a science teacher and the department head at Platteview High School. She has taught four years of high school science in Kansas before moving back to the good life. This is here third year at Platteview High School. She has earned her teaching degree from UNL and Masters degree in Educational Technology from Baker University. Mrs. Ortiz enjoys spending time with her husband and new daughter. She volunteers for the youth group at CityLight Church. Mrs. Ortiz loves a good book, lattes, and the Huskers.

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Kristina Bell
Language Arts
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About Kristina Bell

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Brad Schlieman
Social Science
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About Brad Schlieman

Mr. Schlieman teaches dual-enrollment United States history, psychology, AP psychology, and world geography. He also serves as an assistant boys basketball coach and coaches junior high track. Mr. Schlieman graduated from the University of Iowa in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in history with a secondary education endorsement. In 2015, he earned a master's degree in historical studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Outside of school, Mr. Schlieman enjoys spending time with his wife, Malissa, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes and the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Andrew Soneson
Social Science
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About Andrew Soneson

I am originally from St. Paul, Nebraska, and I graduated from St. Paul High School. After high school, I attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where I earned my bachelor's degree in history and political science. In 2017, I earned a masters degree in history from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. During college, I joined a Marine Corps commissioning program, and upon graduating I entered active service in the Marines. During my seven years in the Marine Corps, I was fortunate to have the experience of leading some of America's finest young men during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is my sixth year at Platteview. I currently teach eighth grade U.S. History, U.S. Government, and Military History. I married my beautiful wife Lynn twelve years ago, and we have four amazing children: Reagan, McKinley, Lincoln, and Monroe. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and any outdoor activity or athletic event.

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Shae Speth
Social Science
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Teresa Starks
Business
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About Teresa Starks

Mrs. Starks is a business teacher, advisor for FBLA, and coach at Platteview High School. She received a bachelor's degree from Graceland University and a master's in curriculum and education from Doane College. Along with teaching, Mrs. Starks enjoys reading and running. She and her husband have four children and live in Springfield.

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Amy Thayer
Media Services
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About Amy Thayer

Mrs. Thayer is the Media Specialist at Platteview High School. She received a Bachelors Degree from University of Nebraska at Kearney, a Masters in Educational Technology from Peru State College, and a Library Science Endorsement from University of Nebraska at Omaha. She works closely with the Online Academy and helps broadcast school events through TheCUBE. Along with teaching Mrs. Thayer enjoys reading, movies and watching sports. She and her husband have two children and live in Springfield.

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Debra Vahle
Special Education
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About Debra Vahle

Mrs. Vahle is a special education teacher serving students at Platteview High. She also coaches junior high volleyball. Mrs. Vahle earned her bachelor's degree from Hastings College, and her teaching certificate and master of science in education degree from Peru State College. She has 24 years of teaching experience. Mrs. Vahle enjoys spending time with her family, her faith family, and outdoors. She recently moved to Papillion with her husband who is a math teacher at Ashland-Greenwood. Their two sons attend Chadron State College and UNL.

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Gary Wood
Special Education for Grades 11-12
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Ellen Wulf
Science
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Michael Bos
Industrial Technology
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About Michael Bos

Mr. Bos has been the skilled and technical sciences teacher at Platteview High School since January 2014. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2013 (GO BIG RED) and completed his student teaching experience at our closest neighboring school, Papillion La-Vista South High School. Mr. Bos teaches introduction to industrial communication and design, engineering, residential architectural drafting, robotics, and construction technology. He also teaches a seventh-grade technology class for Platteview Central. He is Platteview High School's SkillsUSA advisor and assistant wrestling coach. Mr. Bos spends his time away from school remodeling his home and contracts various construction jobs in the summer months. Mr. Bos welcomed his first child and daughter, Rylee Jean Bos, on September 11, 2017.

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Kim Zeleny
World Languages
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About Kim Zeleny

Hola! My name is Kimberly Zeleny, and I teach Spanish at Platteview High School and Platteview Central Junior High School. I graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and studied in Cali, Colombia. While in South America, my love for the Spanish language and culture grew as well as my fluency. I am looking forward to sharing this with my students. This is my eleventh year of teaching and my fourth year at Platteview. My husband, Dave, and I have two daughters, Jenna and Julia. I enjoy spending time with family and friends and supporting my own children, as well as my students, in their extracurricular activities.

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Support Staff

Phyllis Fisher
Study Hall Supervisor
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Jill Harriman
Administrative Assistant, Principal
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Jennie Harrison
Pianist
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Sharon Havenridge
Food Services
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Kelly Hanes
District Nurse
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Lisa Kallhoff
Paraprofessional
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Billie Jo Karnik
Administrative Assistant, Athletics
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Kirk Kingston
Online Academy
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Mary McKnight
Custodian
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Elizabeth Nesiba
Food Services
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Andrea Nowka
Administrative Assistant, Attendance
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Rich Petersen
Custodian
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Bob Pilcher
Paraprofessional - SSC
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Gary Sliffe
Custodian
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Justice Stalder
Paraprofessional
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Karla Stolzer
Paraprofessional - DLC
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Kevin Thoendel
Band Paraprofessional
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Deputy Justin Wissink
School Resource Officer
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Brittani Arensdorf
Food Services
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Jacki Case
Administrative Assistant, Finances
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