Lincoln High’s Renee Jones named Nebraska Teacher of the Year

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A Lincoln High teacher earned high honors from the Nebraska Department of Education on Thursday.

Renee Jones, who teaches English, was named the Nebraska 2023 Teacher of the Year during a surprise award presentation.

Jones was given the accolade by Nebraska Education Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt.

The department said Jones helps students overcome their fear of speaking to an audience by connecting with them directly.

“Connecting students is the most influential and important element of my role as a teacher,” Jones said in her application. “Connecting students with me, with their peers, and with themselves, is at the heart of gaining the confidence they need.”

In 2014, Jones began her education career in California.

She moved to Nebraska the next year and started teaching English at the Bryan Community Focus Program before going to Lincoln High.

Jones is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and Kiwanis International.

In addition, Jones is a published author, a South by Southwest EDU presenter and has earned several scholarships.

In 2019, she was given the Lincoln Public Schools Foundation’s Inspire Award.

The department said the teacher of the year award recognizes teachers who are exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled and who inspire a diverse group of students to learn.

In the near future, Jones will be honored by the Nebraska State Board of Education.

She will also be taking part in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

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