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GIPS’s Grover to be honored with Ron Joekel Award

GIPS’s Grover to be honored with Ron Joekel Award

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Tawana Grover

Tawana Grover

LINCOLN — Grand Island Public Schools Superintendent Tawana Grover will be one of three educators honored Oct. 25 for championing youth leadership development during a virtual event based in Lincoln.

Launch Leadership will recognize Grover with the Ron Joekel Award at Launch Live, a virtual telethon-style variety show. Sue Braun, an educator from Lincoln, and Amanda Gutierrez, an English teacher at Omaha North High Magnet School, also will be recognized.

In a news release, Launch Leadership said that Grover “brings her sharp grasp of competencies for highly effective instructional leadership with a proven track record for advancing student achievement.”

“Dr. Grover consistently centers students, student voice and student experience into the day-to-day operations and long-term vision of her district,” said her nominator. “With nearly 10,000 students in her district, the majority of whom identify as students of color, she has prioritized advancing equity through the reduction of achievement gaps, and opening of opportunities for her students.”

The award is named for Ron Joekel, a lifelong educator serving on the faculty at UNL for 42 years as professor chair and associate dean of the Teachers College. Joekel was a pioneer in youth leadership development. He served as executive director of the Nebraska Association of Student Council’s for 20 years and was instrumental in growing the current-day Launch organization as well as its Summer Leadership Workshop.

Joekel traveled the country putting on leadership workshops and helped begin the National Association of Workshop Directors. In addition, he served as the national president of Phi Delta Kappa and served on the board of directors of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators.

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