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.
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!
About Shellee Dill
Mrs. Dill serves students from birth through age 21. This is her 21st year working in the school district. She was a contracted employee through Educational Service Unit #3 for the first 11 years, until she was hired by Springfield Platteview 10 years ago. Her educational background includes a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she majored in psychology and minored in education and art history. She also holds a master of science degree and an education specialist degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, both in school psychology. Her husband, Corby, is a graduate of Platteview High School, and her mother-in-law taught in the district for many years. Mrs. Dill has three children, Nicholas, Lauren, and Chloe. In her spare time, she loves to golf, read, and spend time with her family and friends.
About Jerry Layher
About Michael McLaughlin
This is my fourth year at Platteview 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 two 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. I have been married 25 years, and my wife works as a dean of students at Omaha South High School. I have a 22-year-old daughter named Katie who graduated from UNO and will be attending PA school and a 19-year-old son named Owen who is a paratrooper in the US Army currently based at Ft. Bragg, NC. We enjoy traveling as a family as often as possible, either to a beach, the mountains, or a Notre Dame football game.
I feel privileged every day to be able to serve the students and community of Springfield.
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.
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.
About Nicholas Crouse
Mr. Crouse serves as the director of strength & conditioning for Platteview High School and Platteview Central Junior High School. He also serves as an assistant baseball coach and middle school football coach. Mr. Crouse earned a bachelor's degree in K-12 physical education from Northwest Missouri State University in 2013 and a master's degree in K-12 educational leadership from Northwest Missouri State University in 2020. Mr. Crouse holds a number of certifications, including USA Weightlifting level 1 sports performance coach, high school strength & conditioning specialists through the International Youth Conditioning Association, reflexive performance reset level 1 certification and CPR/first aid certification. Mr. Crouse is an original member of the National High School Strength Coaches Association (NHSSCA). Outside of school, Mr. Crouse enjoys spending time with his wife, Samantha, playing with their dog, Bella, and cheering for the Northwest Bearcats, Iowa Hawkeyes, Kansas City Chiefs, and Kansas City Royals.
About Alex Dostal
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About Anna Hartwig
Mrs. Hartwig has taught English at Platteview High School since 2018. She currently teaches ninth grade English and directs the PHS one-act play. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Peru State College and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is pursuing a second master’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Mrs. Hartwig and her husband Nick have two children, Layla and Finn, who attend Springfield Platteview Community Schools. In her free time, she enjoys attending her children’s activities, reading, cooking, and home-improvement projects.
About Andrew Hopp
Doctoral studies - January 2017–December 2018
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
Platteview High School
Treynor Community Schools
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.
About Jim Jennings
Mr. Jennings is currently serving as a college/career specialist at the high school. He is responsible for managing the College/Career Center and supervising the work-based learning/Trojan internship program. He also serves as the Federal Perkins Technology Grant coordinator for Springfield Platteview Community Schools as well as coaching the girls golf team. 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.
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.
About Elizabeth Johnson
Elizabeth is a math teacher at Platteview High School. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa where she earned a bachelor's degree in secondary mathematics education and a master's degree in mathematics. She taught 7th grade math and high school math in Sioux City, IA, for four years before moving to Omaha in 2019. In addition to teaching math, Elizabeth is a portrait and lifestyle photographer in the Omaha area (@elizabethraephotography). Her interests include coffee, hiking, paddle boarding, working out, and spending time with her two dogs.
About Michael Kersulov
Dr. Kersulov is a teacher in the English Language Arts Department at Platteview High School. Dual credit courses he teaches include AP literature and composition, Amecan literature, and British literature. Dr. Kersulov sponsors the newspaper / yearbook, Journalism Team, Diversity Club, and co-sponsors the one-act play. He also acts as the chair of the English department.
Dr. Kersulov completed his undergraduate degree in English secondary education at Central Missouri State University, his master's in English literature at the University of Central Missouri, and his Ph.D. 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 fishing and tabletop games, as well as cycling and attending comic book conventions. He lives with his wife and three cats in Omaha, Nebraska.
His most recent publications include:
Kersulov, M. L., & Henze, A. (2021). Where image and text meet identity: Gifted students’ poetry comics and the crafting of “nerd identities”. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 13(1), 92-105.
Kersulov, M. L., Falch, K., & Hartwig, A. (2021). Classroom drama: Roleplaying fictional characters in a political debate. English Journal, 110(3), 74-81.
Kersulov, M. L. (2019). Framing narratives: Gifted students' comic memoirs in the English classroom (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University)."
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.
About Matt King
Mr. King has served as the seventh through twelfth-grade vocal music teacher at Platteview Jr./Sr. High School since 1999. Mr. King earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music and music education 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 three children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About Julie Lodes
I have been teaching since 2006. I taught math up until 2017, when I decided 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 computer science essentials, AP computer science principles, Java, math modeling/computational thinking, and cybersecurity 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. Last, I completed my computer science endorsement at UNO. 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.
About Laura Lovercheck
Ms. Lovercheck came to Platteview High School for the 20-21 school year and is now in her second year at PHS. Ms. L. teaches Family and Consumer Science for the high school and one PC class. She also coaches PC volleyball and PC girls basketball and is the FCCLA advisor. Ms. L. has a culinary/baking and pastry degree from SCC in Lincoln and a bachelor's degree from UNL in education. Ms. L. has a fourth-grade daughter, Lily, at Westmont Elementary and a seven-year-old Catahoula dog, Phelia. In her free time she enjoys trying new restaurants, crocheting, reading books, and traveling for Polka music.
About Jeremy Mahoney
About Mark McLaughlin
Mr. McLaughlin is in charge of credit recovery at Platteview High School. He also serves as the head football coach, head boys soccer coach, and one of the Letter Club sponsors. Mr. McLaughlin earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education from University of Nebraska-Kearney in 2006. In 2012, he earned a master's degree in reading PK-12 from UNK. In 2018, he earned a second master's degree from UNK in educational administration (principalship). Mr. McLaughlin previously taught elementary school in Gibbon, NE, for 12 years. Outside of school, Mr. McLaughlin enjoys do-it-yourself construction projects, spending time with his family (his wife, Meredith, son, Brooks, and son, Harris), playing with their dog, Apollo, collecting football helmets, and decals, and cheering for the Michigan Wolverines, UNK Lopers, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Cubs, and Vancouver Canucks.
About Mary Middleton
My name is Mary Middleton. I graduated from Avila University (Kansas City, Missouri) with a bachelor of science in special education. Currently, I am working on my master of education in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in reading and special education at the University of Nebraska Kearney. My first teaching job was at Turner High School in Kansas City, Kansas. While in Kansas City, I also taught elementary special education in Olathe, Kansas, as well as preschool at a Montessori school.
In my spare time, I like to knit, quilt, fish, hunt, scrapbook, and read. I am an avid sports fan and will watch just about any sport. I have also taken up guitar playing (albeit rudimentary). My husband and I enjoy traveling to new places and spending time with our blended family of six daughters, two grandchildren, one son-in-law, and three Labradors.
About Alex Nielsen
Mr Nielsen is a science teacher at Platteview High School. He is currently in his third year of teaching. He teaches biology, chemistry, and earth and space science. He enjoys coaching and coaches junior high football and junior high boys and girls basketball. He has earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education from UNO. When not at school, Mr Nielsen loves to spend time with his wife, Ali, and his dog, Gus. He is an outdoorsman at heart and spends his summers camping, hiking, and fishing.
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.
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.
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. I have been a teacher in Platteview since 2014, and I currently teach U.S. History, U.S. Government, and Military History. I am also the varsity cross country coach and the junior high wrestling coach. I am married to my beautiful wife Lynn, 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 athletics event.
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.
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.
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 27 years of teaching experience. Mrs. Vahle enjoys spending time with her family, her faith family, and the outdoors. Her husband is a math teacher at Ashland-Greenwood and they have two grown sons.
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.
About Kimberly Zeleny
¡Hola! My name is Kimberly Zeleny. 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 eighth year teaching at Platteview High School and Platteview Central Junior High and my 16th year of teaching Spanish. I taught for four years before our daughters were born, stayed home for twelve years, then returned to teaching. My husband, Dave, and I have two daughters, Jenna and Julia. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to concerts, and traveling.
About Raina Dunston
I graduated from North Central University in Minneapolis, MN, in 2010 with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies. I worked in the Admissions Office as the Enrollment Services Coordinator, as well as an Admissions Counselor. I also worked in the Registrar’s Office as the New Student Academic Advisor. I have been an online ESL teacher in China, as well as a school para in a kindergarten classroom. I have moved all over the country, as my husband is a youth pastor, and we have two young active boys. In my free time, I enjoy going to coffee shops and staying active outside.
About Deputy John Sanderson
This is Dep. Sanderson's first year as the school resource officer at Springfield Platteview Community Schools. Dep. Sanderson's SRO duties include working at Platteview High School, Platteview Central Junior High School, Westmont Elementary, and Springfield Elementary. Dep. Sanderson has been a deputy with Sarpy County Sheriff's Office for six years. Prior to being an SRO, Dep. Sanderson worked in the jail division and road division.
About Heather Wienk
I graduated from South Dakota State University in Brooking, SD, with a double major in Spanish and consumer affairs. I'm a jack of all trades, having worked as a collections analyst, hotel manager, human resources generalist, tax preparer, personal assistant. to now as an administrative assistant. I truly enjoy working with people of all ages and backgrounds, because there's always something new to learn. My husband and I have two fantastic kids and a yellow lab named Artemis. In my spare time, I go for bike rides, walk, and spend time with family and friends.