When you’re surrounded by eager and enthusiastic learners every day, it’s easy to love your job. Springfield Elementary has some of the best educators around, and once you get to know us, you’ll have to agree! We are always happy to discuss any concerns regarding your child’s education and invite you to reach out at any time.
About Kaela Heneger
I am looking forward to another great year at Springfield Elementary. I am excited to be a part of such a fabulous community. My husband, Jeremy, and I, along with our two children, Mackenzie and Atticus, moved to Springfield in August 2014. We were impressed with how welcoming the community was and the pride people took in the school district. Springfield was the perfect fit for our family, and I am thrilled to be part of such a dedicated team of educators. Springfield Elementary has the best students, parents, and staff around. I have had the opportunity to work in several different roles throughout my career, including as a district literacy coach, Title I coordinator, third grade language arts teacher, and kindergarten teacher. I have been fortunate to work with all levels from preschool to high school. I am truly blessed to work with dedicated and passionate staff, supportive parents, and the creative, energetic students of Springfield Elementary.
BA in elementary education from Hastings College; assessment endorsement from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; master's of education: reading specialist from the University of Nebraska-Kearney; master of educational leadership degree: administrative degree (PK–12) from Doane College; educational specialist degree from Doane College: superintendent's endorsement. I finished my doctorate (Ed.D) in April 2020, through Doane University.
Our daughter, Mackenzie, will be graduating in May from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. She is majoring in justice systems with a minor in disabilities studies. After earning her bachelor's degree, she plans to apply to law school. Our son, Atticus, is an eighth grader at Platteview Central. He is active in band, enjoys acting in musicals/plays, listening to podcasts, and has acquired some mad cooking skills lately. He will be running cross country this fall and track in the spring. Fall is my favorite time of the year (school starts in the fall!). I grew up in Superior, Nebraska, and am the oldest of three children. I love to read, play games, and watch movies. I enjoy running and try to run in a road/trail race every couple of months. My husband and I love to cook and try new foods.
About Vanessa Bellairs
Hello! My name is Vanessa Bellairs, and I run the high ability program (aka Discovery) at both Westmont and Springfield Elementary schools. I am in my seventeenth year of teaching high ability students, and it is truly my passion to see my students grow and reach their potential. I have lived all around the world and actually went to high school in Germany. I received both my bachelor's degree in elementary education and my master's degree in gifted education from Kansas State University (however, I still bleed Husker red). I have three boys, all Springfield Platteview attendees/alumni, Trenton who is in college, Cale who is in seventh grade, and Dane who is in sixth grade. I love our school district and am dedicated to serving it's students and families to the best of my ability. I love coaching academic teams--Quiz Bowl, Destination Imagination, math teams, etc. In my spare time, I love to fish, do anything outside, and spending time with my family.
About Claire Johnson
Hi! My name is Claire Johnson, and I am so excited to be teaching in Springfield Platteview this year! A little about me: I graduated from University of Nebraska-Kearney in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and an endorsement in early childhood education. This will be my second year teaching preschool and I think it is the greatest job in the world! I love watching the kiddos progress throughout the year; they grow so much in such a short time! In my free time, I love to read, knit, spend time with my family, and take my dog, Luna, for walks. I am excited to meet everyone and join this amazing community of educators!
About JoAnn Hisek
Hello! My name is JoAnn Hisek, and I welcome you to a wonderful year of fun, exciting learning, and growing! This is my fifteenth year of teaching kindergarten. I earned my bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology from UNO, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UNO, and my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Doane.
My husband and I have two amazing children, Caitlin (22) will be starting her teaching career this year in first grade and my son Braeden (6) will be in first grade. We enjoy being outdoors, spending time at the zoo, going on walks, traveling, and just spending time together.
I am very excited about embarking on a learning adventure with your child. It is my goal to provide the best possible educational experiences for your child’s first year of school.
About Laura Krallman
My name is Laura Krallman and I am very excited to be your child’s teacher this year. The coming school year will be a wonderful experience for both your kindergartner and myself! Let me tell you a bit about me! I graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (k–6) with emphasis on early childhood, and an endorsement in reading from Buena Vista University. I was lucky enough to student teach in a wonderful kindergarten classroom and couldn’t be more excited to share my ideas and love of learning with your kindergartner! I completed a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Peru State College in 2016. My husband and I have a daughter and a son (Ziva - 3 and Zander - 1). I love the Iowa Hawkeyes, coffee, and golf!
About Jessica Michel
This year marks my thirteenth year teaching and my tenth year here at Springfield Elementary. Springfield is truly my home! I received my bachelor of education degree with a specialization in early childhood from UNO in 2007. In 2010, I earned my master of education in curriculum and instruction from Doane College. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my three and a half year old daughter and planning vacations with my husband.
About Lori Barry
Welcome to the 2019–2020 Springfield Elementary school year!
My name is Lori Barry, and this is my fifteenth year of teaching first grade here at Springfield. My educational background includes my bachelor’s degree in K-6 elementary education from UNL, and my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Doane College. I also have a K–3 mathematics specialist certificate from UNL.
I have a wonderful husband, Andrew, and two sweet children of my own, Madelyn (6) and Caden (4). Our family loves trips to the zoo, swimming, and picnics. Some of my favorite hobbies include reading, golfing, and trying to be a gardener.
First grade is an amazing year of growth for students. I just love the laughter and learning that happens in my classroom! I truly think I have the greatest job ever surrounded by the best students, parents, and coworkers possible!
About Jennifer Beles
I have been teaching first grade for 22 years now, but it is my 24th year in our wonderful school district. I am always amazed at how much these kiddos learn in just this one school year! It is wonderful to see how much growth and learning happens. I genuinely love teaching first grade and feel the same excitement as my students do about school.
I went to Springfield Elementary when I was growing up and my parents still live (and work) in town. Actually, I teach in the very same room I sat in as a first grader. What an honor! I graduated from Platteview High School, and received my bachelor's degree and master's degree from Doane College. I have two children of my own and love spending time with my family, shopping, and reading. I couldn't ask for a better place to teach than here in the very town I grew up!
About Sue Beatty
Hello, my name is Sue Beatty and this is my 34th year teaching second grade in this amazing school district. Second graders are so excited to come to school each day to learn! It's fun to watch them grow socially and academically throughout the year. I received my bachelor's degree and master's degree in elementary education at UNO. My husband, Don, and I have one son. Our son Sean is a sophomore at Millard West. In my spare time I like to read, go to the YMCA, and watch Sean play soccer.
About Manon Strayer
This is my fourth year teaching second grade at Springfield Elementary School. I love working with second grade students! They have a strong joy for learning and their enthusiasm in the classroom shines brightly. Second grade was my favorite grade in elementary school, and it was always my dream to become a second grade teacher. It is going to be a fantastic year!
I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an endorsement in early childhood from University of Nebraska at Kearney, 2004. I also have a master’s degree in reading k–12 from University of Nebraska at Kearney, 2010.
Reading specialist for five years at Springfield Elementary/South Central Unified School District #5 in Fairfield, Nebraska.
Kindergarten teacher for four years at South Central Unified School District #5 in Fairfield, Nebraska.
About Laura Corbett
Hello! My name is Laura Corbett, and this is my tenth year teaching at Springfield Elementary. It is my seventh year teaching third grade, previously having taught kindergarten for three years. I received my bachelor’s in elementary education from Iowa State University, in Ames, IA and my master’s in professional education from Morningside College in Sioux City, IA. I am married to Chad, and we have two daughters, Avery and Harper. In my free time, I love to golf, bicycle, read, go on walks with my girls, wander around Target, and cheer on the Cyclones! I am looking forward to another great year as a Springfield Tiger!
About Jeanne Tagel
This year is my eighth year of teaching third grade at Springfield Elementary. Previous to teaching third grade, I was the Title 1/reading specialist at Springfield Elementary for five years. I also taught sixth grade for four years and second grade for four years at St. Vincent de Paul in Omaha. I received my bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Wayne State College. I completed my master’s degree in reading at UNO. Teaching at Springfield Elementary has been an awesome experience. The students make each day very enjoyable because of their desire to learn. It is great to be a Springfield Tiger! My husband, Brian, and I have three daughters. Sydney is a Junior at Platteview High School, Hannah is in eighth grade at Platteview Central, and Kelsey is in third grade at Springfield Elementary. In my spare time, I love to garden, read, bake, and be with family and friends.
About Cindy Hudson
Hello! This is my third year working for the Springfield Platteview Community Schools, and I feel honored to be a part of this team. Prior to coming here, I spent 27 years working for the Bellevue Public Schools in a variety of roles. In Bellevue, I taught first, second, third, fifth, and sixth grades. I also held an administrative position and spent my last three years in Bellevue working as an instructional coach. I earned my bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Buena Vista. I also have a master’s degree in administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a specialist certificate in elementary mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
A short phrase that sums up what school is all about for me is, “Your biggest mistake is never learning from one.” I want students to know that making mistakes is a normal part of the learning process, and that mistakes are proof that you are stepping outside of your comfort zone in order to grow.
When I'm not teaching school, I keep busy with my teen daughter and her activities. I am also blessed to be able to spend lots of time with my two sons and their families - it’s very convenient when you all live in the same neighborhood!
About Melody Kreger
Hello! My name is Melody Kreger and this is my third year teaching fifth grade at Springfield Elementary. I received my bachelors degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in elementary education with an emphasis in inclusion practices. After graduating, I went on to teach one year of third grade before coming back to Springfield where I had student taught. I am currently pursuing my master's degree in curriculum and instruction through Peru State College. My husband and I have one son, Adam, who just celebrated his first birthday! I love spending my free time with them and our dog at home. I enjoy crafting and traveling in my free time as well. I am excited to welcome another year as a Springfield Tiger!
About Carey Smith
This will be my first year as a teacher at Springfield Elementary School. I am a proud Springfield Tiger Alumni. I spent my last twenty years in another district teaching kindergarten, second grade, and fourth grade. I received a B.S. in elementary education and a B.S. in special education from Nebraska Wesleyan University. I earned a master's in curriculum and instruction along with an early childhood endorsement from Doane College. When I am not teaching, you will find me spending time with my husband and three sons.
About Karen Moritz
My name is Karen Moritz, and this is my third year at Springfield Elementary. I have been a teacher for over 25 years, but I can honestly say that the SPCS district has been my favorite experience to date.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in elementary education (with a minor in Spanish) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and my master’s degree at Creighton University in learning disabilities and behavior disorders. I have taught in a variety of settings, including middle school, elementary classrooms, resource rooms, and Title classrooms.
My two children are both in college. They decided to move back home after their freshman year, because they wanted to save money. :) That means my nest is no longer empty, and I am super happy about that!
I enjoy hanging out with family, spending time with friends, playing games, painting, reading and traveling. My dream is to one day travel all over the world to experience other cultures.
About Colleen Sylvester
Hello! My name is Colleen Sylvester. I just completed my twelfth year at Springfield Platteview schools, in which I have taught first, fourth, and sixth grade. I graduated with my teaching degree from Wayne State College and my master's degree from Doane. My family includes my husband Gary, my kids Kylee (16), Cameron (14), and Finley (5), and my step-sons Liam (17) and Devin (15). We have two dogs, three cats, and a bearded dragon! This is an exciting year! Kylee will be a senior at Platteview, Cameron a freshman at Quest Forward Academy, and Finley is starting kindergarten at Springfield Elementary. I look forward to teaching my fifth year as a sixth grade teacher!
About JoAnna Johnson
Hello! I’m Mrs. JoAnna Johnson. I have been teaching elementary art for 14 years, and I’m happy to say this is my ninth year in this district. I received my BFA from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. I am currently working towards my master’s degree in art education through the University of Nebraska-Kearney. I have been lucky enough to also travel and teach at camps during the summer in upstate New York and in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love watching elementary students create. I want my students to feel comfortable to create with different mediums and techniques so they can explore and discover what they enjoy.
I live in Louisville with my husband, Colby, and our soon, Cooper, who is just six months old. Our little family loves to travel and see family and friends. We love to cook, play games, and create home projects for ourselves. In my spare time I love to sew felt Christmas ornaments, for our family Christmas tree or to give away to family and friends.
About Katie Hobbs
My name is Katie Hobbs. I am the developmental learning center teacher at Springfield Elementary. I am excited to start another school year. I received my bachelor's degree from UNO in special education with an emphasis in health education. I am currently working on my master's degree from Concordia University in special education inclusion. I have four kids. My oldest Kitia will be a junior at PHS. My son Dominic is an eighth grader at PCJH. My daughter Shaylla will be in sixth grade, and youngest Nala will be in fourth grade at Springfield Elementary. We love family time, watching Husker football, going running, camping, playing soccer, and attending sporting events. I am grateful to be a part of Springfield Elementary where amazing things are happening.
About Anna Carreon
Hello! My name is Anna Carreon and I am in my ninth year of teaching as a learning center teacher at Springfield Elementary. My educational background includes my bachelor’s degree in K–6 elementary education and mild to moderate disabilities from UNO, and my master’s degree in literacy and English language learners from Concordia University - Seward. My favorite things about teaching are when a student achieves a goal or feels successful!
I am married to a fellow educator, Jerry, and we have a daughter, Celeste (3) and son, Josep (7 months). We love trips to the zoo, Joslyn museum, and different parks around the city. When I'm not spending time with my family I like to listen to podcasts while Marie Kondo-ing our house.
About Tara Devereaux
Hello! My name is Tara Devereaux. I graduated from College of Saint Mary with my bachelor’s degree in elementary education (K-6) and special education (K-9), and went on to receive my master’s degree from University of Nebraska at Omaha. This is my sixth year teaching at Springfield Elementary and I have loved every year here. The students in Springfield are amazing and the parents are so supportive. This is truly a wonderful community to be a part of!
My husband Steve and I got married in August of 2017. We welcomed our first son, Jaxson Edward on August 1, 2018! Being a mom has been such a rewarding and amazing gift. I have taken some time off to take care of Jaxson and will return to work in November! I cannot wait to get back and see how much my students have grown and learned! For fun, my family really enjoys football. I love the Huskers and the Chiefs. Steve loves the Cyclones and the Packers. Somehow we make it work in our divided house! I am hoping that Jaxson will be a Husker and Chiefs fan like his mommy someday! I also enjoy reading a good book and spending time with friends and family.
About Shari Spiehs
Promotes positive 21st Century skills while instilling a love for reading and learning.
Shari Spiehs studied music, elementary and special education at Hastings College and proceeded to work in the special education field the first seven years of her career. She maintains educational credentials for the state of California, where she taught for two years. She enjoys new tasks and challenges; making the change to teaching middle school Journalism and Writing, which proved to be the start of several professional changes. In 2007 she made the move to Springfield Elementary to take on the role of 4th grade. After several years in general education, she proceeded to obtain her Master of Science degree in Elementary Education with a Media/Library endorsement from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Passionate about technology, digital citizenship, and reading, the move to become a school librarian was a natural fit. With encouragement from friends and co-workers, Shari started the coursework for an additional endorsement in the area of Computer Science.
This is Shari’s 18th year in education, and her 10th year in the Springfield Platteview School District. Shari is the elementary librarian serving both Springfield and Westmont.
In her free time, Shari plays the piano and conducts the local Methodist church choir. She also loves to promote learning the art of music. She enjoys travelling, spending time outdoors, and camping with her two children.
Shari is a member of the Nebraska School Library Association and Nebraska Educational Technology Association.
About Elizabeth Fritton
- Bachelor of music education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
- Kodaly certified educator, completing all three levels through the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
- Master of arts in teaching through Morningside College.
This will be my fifth year at Springfield Elementary. I also have experience teaching elementary music in the parochial school setting, as well as private piano lessons. I am currently the assistant director of the fall musical and directing the women’s show choir at Millard North High School.
Outside of school, I enjoy reading, baking, and crafting. Some of my favorite musical memories include playing in the Cornhusker Marching Band, playing piano for a NET radio broadcast, making a cameo performance tap dancing in a high school production of “Young Frankenstein,” and spending time with my show choir kids on competition weekends. I am looking forward to another awesome school year!
About Paul Ketchen
Hello! My name is Paul Ketchen and I am very excited to be teaching beginner band at Springfield Elementary this year! My family and I just arrived from Boston (where I was was born and raised) and we are really enjoying living in the Aksarben area and experiencing everything greater Omaha has to offer. Jenna is very excited to be back home in Nebraska, as well as Nana and Papa are to have more time with Adaline (2) and Elliott (11 months). I am so impressed with the welcoming feel of the Springfield community and cannot wait to start working with everyone here! 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 am looking forward to running in the Omaha marathon this September.
Education and Experience:
I have a BA music degree with performance honors from Syracuse University, serving as an undergraduate TA in ear training and sight singing courses. I have a masters in music education from the Florida State University, serving as a graduate TA with the FSU Bands. After grad school, I got to return to the community that got me started on my musical journey. I had 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, 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, trombone is my principal and I always love playing in orchestras, jazz bands, pit orchestras, and 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 have guest conducted, cliniced, and hosted a variety of jazz, concert, and marching band camps and festivals at the middle and high school level.
About Ted Glover
BS in physical education with a coaching endorsement and sports medicine minor from Northwestern University; St. Paul, Minnesota
MA in administration leadership from Concordia University; Seward, Nebraska
I am in my thirteenth year teaching at Springfield Platteview Community Schools. I love teaching P.E. at Springfield Elementary, and we are the Tigers!
About Stephanie Brazell
This is my fourth year as a reading specialist at Springfield Elementary. I have taught both fourth grade and second grade and, although I loved teaching in the classroom, I have always had a passion for teaching reading. I earned my bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and earned my master's in literacy from Concordia University in Nebraska. I look forward to working with the students and staff at Springfield again this year! My husband and I have been married for 16 years and we have two children. Our daughter Caelin is ten and our son Evan is eight. In our spare time, we like to be outside (hiking, walking around the zoo, swimming) and we love reading!
About Jane Ingram
I’m excited to start my second year at Springfield Elementary as a school counselor. My previous experiences include teaching fifth and sixth grade at the elementary level and teaching reading at the middle school level. For the past seven years, I have been helping students experience success as a school counselor. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Springfield community and offering support to students and families as they navigate academic and personal/social situations. I connect with all students through guidance classes and continue to offer support through small groups on a variety of topics. Individual counseling is also available on a short term basis. Referrals can be made for students who would benefit from support outside of the school setting.
Together my husband and I have five children, ages 18 to 28. Our children are pursuing careers as a nurse, a teacher of English language learners, an airline pilot, and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer. We enjoy the company of four dogs who keep us busy but provide lots of love! When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, reading, traveling, and taking nightly walks with our dogs. I'm looking forward to another great year!
About Carol Bowley
This is my third year working at Springfield Elementary as the Title 1 Math Teacher. I am excited to begin another year with this wonderful district. I have been teaching for 19 years. I received my bachelor's degree in elementary education with an endorsement in special education from UNO. I have worked with students with a variety of disabilities over the years. Most of my experience has been as a special education teacher with Westside Community Schools in Omaha. My children are grown and married. I have five beautiful grandchildren. My dream is to visit all of the National Parks.
About Kelli Haynes
Hello everyone! I am very excited to be starting my second year in the school system as the district RN. I have been a nurse for over sixteen years. I received my masters in nursing administration from Wesleyan University in 2002. My husband and I have four children, all in the Springfield Platteview Community School District, and they keep us busy every night and weekend. I look forward to getting to know your children and helping them stay healthy during the school year.
About Angie Carlson
I am a Springfield native and a Platteview alumni. I married my high school sweetheart 32 years ago. We have five children. I earned a bachelor of science comprehensive degree in business administration. My husband and I are owners of Carlson Tile, Inc., Carlson Custom Homes, and Shirts and More. Our family has been active community members and we hope to continue to be just as active as our children leave our nest.
About Candace Hibbitts
Hi! My name is Candy Hibbitts! This is my 2nd year at Platteview Early Education Center. I have a family and consumer science degree with an emphasis in child development and a minor in psychology from College of the Ozarks. I live in Springfield with my husband and two kids, ages 10 and 6. We are a military family that has moved on multiple occasions… one day we'll finally be settled! We have called Nebraska home for the past 2 years. Before calling Nebraska home, we called Colorado home… Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas prior to that! We enjoy exploring new places and having awesome adventures!
About Lisa Peterson
Hello! My name is Lisa Peterson. This is my second year at Platteview Early Education Center. I have a finance and management degree from Wayne State College. I live in Papillion with my husband and two boys, ages 17 and 13. My life is very busy and full of sports! I love watching my boys in their activities, as well as watching sports in general! I also love to visit new places and make memories with my family.
About Amanda Pitschmann
I love reading and art; the library is a great fit for me! This is my third year as Springfield's elementary library assistant. I live in Springfield with my husband, Chris, and our two sons. My Springfield Platteview career began when I moved here in the 3rd grade and graduated from Platteview Hight School. I continued my higher education through art classes at Metropolitan Community College. I enjoy spending time with my family and watching scary movies. I also dabble in many different crafts from stamp carving to crochet and lots in-between! I really enjoy working at Springfield Elementary and getting to know all of the children!
About Wendy Post
About Gina Zimmer
Hello! I am Regina Zimmer, aka Gina. My husband Mike and I live in Papillion. We have two sons, a daughter-in-law, two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. I love being with my family and friends, playing with my granddaughters, and volunteering at assisted living centers. This is my fifth year at Springfield Elementary. My first three years, I worked as the school’s health para, and this is my second year as the first and second grade educational assistant. Watching children learn and grow brings so much joy to my life. I am so happy to be at Springfield Elementary with the amazing staff, amazing children, and amazing families!