40 students selected for UNK’s Teachers Scholars Academy; 4 From KCNI/KBBN Coverage Area

40 students selected for UNK’s Teachers Scholars Academy; 4 From KCNI/KBBN Coverage Area
Shelby Pocock of Kearney, right, a member of UNK’s Teachers Scholars Academy, works with students at Windy Hills Elementary School during a Measurement Olympics event last December. (Photo by Corbey R. Dorsey, UNK Communications)

KEARNEY – Forty students will receive full-tuition scholarships to attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney as members of the Teachers Scholars Academy.

These recent high school graduates represent 33 communities in Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas. Their average ACT score is 23.5 and their average high school GPA was 3.87.

“Students selected to the Teachers Scholars Academy are part of an elite group,” said academy coordinator Emily DeVall. “Their passion, energy and hard work are noted across campus and in the community.”

In its second year, the Teachers Scholars Academy was created to make college more affordable for prospective educators and grow the teacher workforce in Nebraska. The program is open to incoming freshmen majoring in education.

More than 100 candidates applied for this year’s cohort. An admissions and scholarship committee selects the 40 scholars based on academic achievements, interviews and other prerequisites.

Each student selected for the Teachers Scholars Academy receives a scholarship covering their full tuition – up to 120 credit hours – plus $8,000 annually for education expenses such as housing, books and food. At today’s tuition per credit hour at UNK, the scholarship package is worth roughly $57,000 over four years.

Students also receive academic support through the academy, which is funded by the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation and Sherwood Foundation.

The academy is fashioned as a learning community, with students taking certain classes together, sharing common experiences and working alongside each other. A final research project or capstone experience will also be collaborative, with students working in teams to present at a conference, seminar or workshop. Other enrichment and experiential learning activities include guest lectures, volunteer work and mentorships.

All 40 students from the inaugural Teachers Scholars Academy cohort are returning to UNK this fall, giving the program a 100% retention rate. Sophomore students will serve as mentors for the incoming freshmen.

“I’m excited to continue supporting these students as they pursue their academic dreams at UNK,” DeVall said.

More information on the Teachers Scholars Academy can be found at unk.edu/futureteachers.

The following students, listed by hometown, were selected for UNK’s Teachers Scholars Academy:


Arapahoe – Keziah Goshert

Blair – Lyndsay Rahlfs

Bridgeport – Falen Jeffries

Burwell – NeLeigh Owens

Butte – Heather Atkinson

Cambridge – Cali Gunderson

Clay Center – Noah Okraska

Columbus – Ryan Sims

Cozad – Raegen Fleharty

Elwood – Makenzie Clouse

Gering – Talera Kinsey

Gothenburg – Jaycee Stupka

Grand Island – Jayda Andersen and Luke Hoos

Gretna – Kayla Nunnenkamp

Humphrey – Aidan Weidner

Kearney – Michaela Becker, Zachariah DeLoach and Adison Wood

Lincoln – Trevor Acton, Ty Donovan and Laura Konz

McCool Junction – Chelse Hornbacher

Newman Grove – Jenna Preister

Norfolk – Kenneth Mitchell

North Platte – Nolan Benjamin

Omaha – Meg Meeske and Emily Sheehy

O’Neill – Chloe Scott

Phillips – Elli Steenson

Ravenna – Ryan Johnson

Seward – Tatum Criner and Kenna Piskorski

Sidney – Tia Pritchard

Sumner – Sidney Ripp

Waverly – Stephanie Elder

Wayne – Kayla Fleming