Math teacher 'Educator of the Year'

Monday, May 15, 2017
Shelly Sehnert, math teacher at McCook High School, is presented with the “Teacher of the Year” award by Jamie Mockry, McCook Chamber of Commerce director.
Lorri Sughroue/McCook Gazette

McCOOK, Neb. — A firm but fair guiding hand is the driving force behind the recipient of the McCook Area Educator of the Year award.

Shelly Sehnert, geometry and algebra teacher at McCook High School, was presented with the award Sunday at the MHS commencement ceremony.

Senhert’s work ethic and clear-cut expectations for her students made a big impression, said Joan Bass, MHS counselor who announced the award and read the student's nominating letter. “It seems (Sehnert) is at the school at 6:30 a.m. every morning and does not leave until 6:30 or later,” Bass read. Students whose homework is not done by the due date get a zero, the student wrote, holding the student accountable for the work they need to do to become successful. “She is straightforward and to the point about the rules and expectations from you.”

Sehnert is available any time of the day, the letter continued, that “makes us know that she wants us to succeed in life.”

Sehnert originally wanted to get into teaching to share the beauty and magic of mathematics, Bass said. “She recalls that in fifth grade, her teacher did something special using math and was hooked.”

For her part, Sehnert feels she has done nothing special, only what teachers across the board do for their students on an everyday basis. In biographical information included in the nomination, Sehnert wrote, “I am extremely honored with the nomination ... if I receive the award, I am no more deserving of this recognition than the next educator ... I am representing collectively the profession of education. I appreciate the recognition that this award bestows to a profession that is not commonly on the receiving end of honors.”

The Educator of the Year award is funded by Allen D. Strunk, former owner/publisher of the McCook Daily Gazette and distributed by the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce.

The award is to encourage and recognize outstanding performance in education, with special emphasis on motivating students to reach their highest potential. Nominations for the award are open to active and certified teachers, administrators, counselors and coaches in public and religious schools offering K-12 classes.

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