LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kerri Stoffel

Position: School Support Liaison
School: Conestoga Elementary School
School District: Omaha Public Schools
City, State: Omaha, NE

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Kerri Stoffel was nominated by her friend, Jane Luethge.

Mrs. Stoffel is an amazing educator in Omaha Public Schools. She works tirelessly to support staff, students, and families in this very large, diverse district on a daily basis. She has been a teacher in a 4th grade classroom, an Instructional Facilitator, and is now serving as a School Support Liaison (SSL). Always making sure that student and family support is at the front of her mind, she has facilitated a school-wide garage sale, with proceeds going back to families in need. She also holds PTO fundraisers to show school pride in the community, and even makes sure that students arrive and depart from school safely.

Mrs. Stoffel has a huge heart, and it breaks when trauma-laden students come through her door. She has wrapped up a pre-K student in a blanket and held them until a responsible adult came to pick them up for the day. She is the first one to pick up a spatula and flip pancakes for teacher appreciation breakfasts, and she is the last one off the clock when her staff need her help. Mrs. Stoffel will run to the Boys and Girls club in a suit and heels to make sure that a student is safe. Sometimes, she has tough conversations with staff who need support or a guiding light.

"When I think about my very best friend in the whole world, she is most deserving of the LifeChanger of the Year award," Luethge said.

Luethge has personally known Mrs. Stoffel since the 9th grade, and they have been friends ever since.

"When we met, we never knew that we would become each other’s best friends, 'aunts' to each other’s children, and family with each other’s families," Luethge said. "I have been watching in the wings for over 20 years, and when I think about Kerri and all that she has accomplished, I harken back to her graduation from Doane College with her Master's Degree in Administration. She had a small party where, instead of focusing on herself, she turned the party into a mission statement reveal and a ceremony to share her gifts with all attendees."

"Each of us received a small golden pin that reads '110%,' a true standard that Kerri keeps at all times," Luethge continued. "She wanted to challenge us to give more than we think we can to make our world a better place. Her personal mission, which she framed for me, is, 'To encourage, listen, and take action towards a better tomorrow, supporting those in need as they continue their unique journeys.' To this day, it sits on a shelf in my office. She lives her mission out each day, and pushes past obstacles. She is a true LifeChanger."

"Kerri Stoffel is a Life Changer for each student, staff member, and community member she comes into contact with," Luethge concluded. "Her passion for others and level of commitment to each person she meets is what teachers and administrators in our profession should strive to emulate. The stakeholders in the Omaha Public Schools are lucky to have Kerri Stoffel as a leader and true educator."

Comments (26)

Carol Williams Posted over a year ago

I have known Kerri Stoffel since she was an elementary student. As I watched her, she grew into a strong young woman despite several very difficult times, including the passing of her father around fourth grade. Kerri’s family attended the same church I attended. I was aware of her attendance in Sunday School, youth group, youth trips, and talent shows. She was a reliable strong leader in all of her endeavors. Kerri went off to college. I wasn’t surprised when I later learned she’d gotten a teaching degree, as she had always been eager to help and teach younger children at church. Our paths once again crossed at a different church in which she was now married and had just started her family. She was a school teacher in an Elementary building. Despite having a full time teaching job and her own family, she was also on several committees at school and helped me out at church by co-teaching music with me before she sometimes went off to teach Sunday School. In all of my observations of her personal and professional life, she is one of those unique individuals who is always “the calm in the storm”. She has managed projects where others were scrambling and completely overwhelmed, but she was able to come in and restore order and make whatever the task be successful. She is excellent in whatever position I’ve seen her in, be it a classroom teaching or in a school building in an administrative position. She gets to know the students in the building a builds a relationship of trust and respect. I can’t think of another person who deserves to win the “Life Changer of the Year” more than Kerri Stoffel. She is a standard we all hope to achieve!

Mary Stoffel Posted over a year ago

I am Kerri's mother-in-law and I am very proud of her being nominated for the Life Changer of the Year Award. I know her on a more personal level. Since I have known Kerri she has always been interested in teaching and helping others. When I first met her she was in high school teaching swimming lessons to children. It did not surprise me when she majored in education in college. I saw she was very dedicated to her profession. Kerri is also very dedicated to family. I have witnessed several times when she has shown strong leadership in the family setting. My husband John just recently underwent mitral valve surgery and she selflessly took time out of her busy schedule to be with me the day of. She has strong family values and makes sure her children are active in sports and church functions. She has good Christian values and is always trying to improve people's lives. She is an asset to our family and is always there to pitch in when needed.

Pamela Perry Posted over a year ago

I have known Kerri for a long time. Kerri worked for me and she was a role model employee. Her dedication, positive attitude and 100% work ethic is one of a kind. Kerri has worked hard always and continues to improve to be the best educator at OPS. The school district is lucky to have an educator who always gives a 110%. Kerri today is a great friend who I am proud to know. Well Deserved nomination Kerri! So proud of you!

Theresa Yost Posted over a year ago

I am a former educator, having retired after 26 years of teaching at the upper elementary level. Kerri Stoffel is my niece by marriage. I have not personally observed Kerri in the classroom setting. However, she and I have shared our thoughts and opinions on education, our strategies for handling students and our methods of teaching at many family gatherings. I have found Kerri to be very dedicated to her job, taking very seriously the challenge that no child should be left behind. When sharing ideas, it is very clear Kerri is creative in her approach to helping students reach their fullest potential. This is also evident in her approach to raising her own children and interacting with the nieces and nephews. Kerri completed her studies towards her masters in administration while pregnant with her third child and teaching full time. This is a sign of her hard work ethic and her dedication to her profession. I strongly support her nomination for Life Changer of the Year Award. Congratulations, Kerri!

Adriana Vargas Posted over a year ago

Kerri is a very dedicated educator that gives 110% everyday. Her commitment to the success of students is her driving force. She leads with passion holding high expectations of herself and others. I have known Kerri for several years serving in different roles. As a teacher she inspired students to set and achieve goals and as an instructional leader she shared her knowledge supporting ways to increase student achievement. She has a strong work ethic and never hesitates to go above and beyond for others. She is a valuable asset in education. ¡Felicidades Kerri!

Kelly Jashinske Posted over a year ago

Kerri is one of the most hard-working and selfless people I know. When we worked together, I was constantly amazed by her tireless energy and her endless ideas on ways to improve the education that our students received as well as improving their general circumstances. I honestly cannot think of anyone who would deserve this award more than Kerri!

Jessica Irwin Posted over a year ago

As someone that has known Kerri for 20 years, I can say without a doubt she is more than deserving of this award. She is constantly working to improve herself in order to better serve the students and staff she works with. She is an excellent educator, friend, mother, among others. Her positive qualities reach far beyond the professional setting, and any school system would be very fortunate to have Kerri on their side. Congrats on the nomination Kerri, you deserve it!

Pam Segich Posted over a year ago

This nomination comes as no surprise to me. Kerri, from a young age, took on many roles. Her mom struggled to work and finish graduate school and raise 3 children after Kerri’s dad passed away from cancer. Kerri had an awesome role model in her mom! She learned to emulate her perseverance, determination and compassion through all of her early life experiences! It molded Kerri into the amazing wife, mother and professional Kerri is today. She wants nothing but the best for every child who walks through the doors of Conestoga Elementary. She is more deserving of this award than anyone I know! I know Kerri will continue to positively impact the lives of many children and families throughout her professional career!

Susan Hinchik Posted over a year ago

I have not known Kerri very long, but in the year and a half that we have worked together, Kerri has always been very positive and gives 110% to the task at hand. It is evident that her mission and true passion is helping children be successful in, not only school, but life as well. Kerri also makes herself available to help staff members grow and improve their craft. She is always willing to share her knowledge and expertise with everyone. Conestoga is fortunate to have the energy and enthusiasm that Kerri brings to school. Congratulations on your nomination.

Vanita Jarmon Posted over a year ago

It is with great pleasure that I write this recommendation for Mrs. Kerri Stoffel. I have had the opportunity to work with Kerri for two years, her love for children and teaching were apparent to me almost instantly. She is an excellent educator who goes above and beyond to support the students in their success. She has high expectations of herself and the students she serves. Kerri’s dedication to students is reflected in the leadership roles she has taken on. Her knowledge and background in curriculum will benefit her as an amazing leader. I believe Mrs. Stoffel is a valuable staff member with many dynamic qualities to offer students, colleagues, and parents.

Jamie Crouch Posted over a year ago

I have worked with Kerri for the past year and a half at Conestoga. She works tirelessly to support the students at our school, even when they they pull her away from a meeting! Kerri is quick to jump in and support children or teacher's who are struggling in the classroom, hallway, or even in the bathroom, as our youngest students sometimes require help. She's also willing to offer support and to mentor new teachers. What an honor to be nominated Kerri, congratulations!!

Tom Vobejda Posted over a year ago

I met Kerri years ago when we were both working on our Master's Degree in Educational Administration. In the two years of our graduate program, it was very evident that she had a strong work ethic and her passion was working with students, teachers, parents, and all in the educational community. She and I have been working together for the past year in a half at Conestoga. She still has a wonderful work ethic and continues to care deeply for the students in our school. Not only is her passion for growing our students, but she has been very willing to assist the staff in our building with continuing to improve their craft as well. Kerri has a wealth of knowledge and is happy to share her expertise and experiences with students and staff. Her dedication to Conestoga is evident in her everyday actions. Congrats on the nomination!!

Kathy Knudsen Posted over a year ago

I have known Kerri since she was a young girl. We lived in the same neighborhood and her mom and I have been friends and work colleagues for over 25 years. I have watched Kerri grow and evolve as a young professional and have always been impressed with her positivity, intellect and compassion. She exemplifies excellence in everything she tackles, works tirelessly for the benefit of her students and fellow staff members and is a positive influence for good. As Founder and President of a worksite wellness company that works to support the well-being of employees across country, I truly believe Kerri Stoffel is helping to shape awesome young professionals and future leaders!

Jaimie Cogua Posted over a year ago

Kerri is an outstanding educator with vision and compassion. She works tirelessly and with a sense of urgency toward meeting the needs of all students, and most especially for those who most need an advocate.

Maria Pérez-Mozaz Posted over a year ago

I have known Kerri for nine years. I became acquainted with her when I took a 4th grade teacher position for the Dual Language program at Gomez Heritage and after, when she came to Castelar to work as an instructional facilitator. During this time, I have found her to be goal driven, hard working, and an extremely high-motivated person. She is very passionate and will go out of his way to make something happen for the benefit of students. She breaths education. She is not afraid to speak up and lay clear expectations. She regularly combed through data to helped drive her support to teachers while knowing when and how to delegate responsibilities. She was great fundraising and acquired many things needed for Castelar. Castelar Elementary often implements now Kerri’s funding raising ideas, which had been fruitful and greatly benefited the school.

Laurie Smith Posted over a year ago

When I found out that Kerri Stoffel was nominated for the life changer of the year nominee it didn’t surprise me. I worked with Kerri at Castelar Elementary. She was our instructional facilitator. Kerri was very dedicated to her job. She was always at work early and one of the last ones to leave. If she wasn’t in her office working on numbers she was thinking of ways to make every student successful. I’m a para at Castelar and if I ever needed anything or an idea on how to help a student she was always willing to help. Kerri is a very kind loving person. One day I was out doing safety patrol and my feet got soaking wet! She even had an extra pair of shoes in her office and offered them to me. Another time when I was out on safety patrol I had a brain aneurysm and I can still picture her standing by the car and wishing me well. During my long recovery she was always available to talk to or would text me encouraging words. So, I definitely would say that she is a life changer she was for me. I’m glad that our paths met and I got a chance to know her.

Robert Stoffel Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Stoffel is a leader, role model, and an inspiration. She makes sure that the community around her is being taken care of. Her peers and students can look up to her as a role model in everything that she does. Mrs. Stoffel has and will continue to be an inspiration for students, community members, and colleagues. I’m proud that Kerri is a vital member of our community, and I get to call her my sister-in-Law. Congratulations on the nomination, Kerri!

Emilie Obermiller Posted over a year ago

Keri Stoffel is an educator who has always strived to provide the best learning environment for her students. She is one of the most derserving women, mother, sister, and educators for this award. My sister has always inspired me and given me the determination to achieve my goals. She has always loved her work and taken great pride in being able to help her students to be their best selves. With her caring heart, passion for educationing, and big smile she will conitune to be the positive influence needed for her peers and students for years to come.

Dorothy Obermiller Posted over a year ago

Kerri is such a caring capable gal, very concerned for others, a true teacher and educator. She sets a perfect example to students and all who work with her. And she's a wonderful wife and mother, too! Our congratulations on your nomination, Kerri! You surely deserve this award.

Courtney Comfort Posted over a year ago

This post and nomination says it all. She has a true passion for her students and staff. She's both an advocate for youth an staff. Her dedication, determination and hard work have shown throughout her work in Highland, Gomez, Castelar and now Conestoga. Those schools and atmospheres are a better place because of Mrs. Stoffel. It takes a lot to be a committed educator, leader, mother, friend, sister and wife. She has it all. Proud to know her and be a part of her circle. She's always influencing those around in her in a positive way.

Dale Obermiller Posted over a year ago

It comes at no surprise to me that Kerri has been recognized and nominated for " Life Changer of the Year ". I saw Kerri at an early age demonstrate all the qualities that this award stands for and symbolizes: compassion, leadership , work ethic, dedication and concern & care for others. Showing these traits, her mother and I always knew that Kerri someday would become a valuable asset to any education system that she chose to be apart of. Kerri has always put the well being of her students at the forefront to encourage, support and mold them into the best student & person that they can be not only in the classroom, but in life. The Omaha Public School System should consider them selves lucky to have such a gem in there school system. She defines what the word Teacher/Educator means and so deserving of this award. To sum it up: SHE IS THE BEST

Barb Murer Posted over a year ago

Unfortunately I have only gotten to be around Kerri a few times in the last couple of years. But it has turned out fortunate for me to get to know her. She is everything everyone says about her and more. Always a smile on her face and bounce in her step! Most definitely a remarkable person.

Colin Stoffel Posted over a year ago

Life changer of the year truly describes Kerri Stoffel! She is not only a remarkable, caring and selfless person, educator, mentor, mother and most importantly to me, an exceptional wife! For many years I have been impressed with her abilities to help me strive and achieve my goals in my career. That comes easy to her, because of her life experiences, passion, knowledge and her always give 110% attitude. Her achievements in her past 36 years of life and her career are nothing short of life changing! Everyone has benefited from her and will continue to through relationships and her passion to do more for her students and staff. I know her heart is filled when she sees the results of her hard work and the work of people that she has influenced over the years! I am proud knowing she is an excellent mother, wife, educator, and life changer of the year! #mrsstoffelisthelifechangeroftheyear

Ann Obermiller Posted over a year ago

You are one amazing lady and we are so proud of you. I can see you giving of your self endlessly to all whether it be at school or at home. Congrats my dear you are so deserving of the award!

Dawn Obermiller Posted over a year ago

As Kerri's mom, it's been a joy and a privilege to watch her grow into the strong, independent, driven, compassionate, loving individual, family member, education professional, community member and more. I believe that early on, she exhibited a passion for leadership that manifested itself in helping me care for our young family when her dad was ill with cancer and passed away. She carried that strength through during her time working many different jobs concurrently as she progressed through college and as well for the City of Omaha Parks and Recreation department when she not only managed pool programs but also acted as a mentor for staff that she was responsible for managing. It was always her destiny to "teach." Whether earlier in her career as an elementary school teacher and as she honed her skills to become an administrator that is depended upon heavily no matter where she's been placed. Her deep caring for children that are not her own is admirable as she strives to put 100% of herself into her work so that hopefully one more child can reach their true potential regardless of circumstances. Outside of a full professional and home life, she has also contributed to fund raising and directing bible school photography efforts at her church as well as volunteering her leadership skills and time to summer swim programming. Kerri is just on the cusp for what is possible in making a difference in people's lives and is extremely deserving of the honor of being nominated as a life changer of the year. I'm super proud of you Kerri!

Kaitlyn Barnes Posted over a year ago

Wow! Such an excellent honor to be nominated for this award. As being a younger sister to Kerri for 30 years I will say that Jane is right, Kerri is extremely deserving of this award. I have watched Kerri in her role as Educator, Sister, Mother, Daughter, Professional and no matter the situation Kerri greets it with strength and grace. I have watched Kerri lean on her personal experiences and drive to ensure Omaha's youth have the brightest future as possible. Kerri's strength and passion for working in inner city schools has always filled her heart. While working in the Child welfare system myself, I have watched Kerri grow in her education of poverty and families with higher or special needs. Kerri's passion to give all children every opportunity possible is well respected by myself and the community. I wish my "big" sister all the luck and I couldn't be more proud of all she has accomplished in her life/ career thus far. Congrats Ker!