Peru State College
font size: - | +
print print
News Release

Peru State Awards 10 Full Tuition Graduate Scholarships to Teachers from Crete, Auburn, Omaha, Hawaii, Yutan, Wauneta and Humboldt


(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) today announced that 10 teachers pursuing graduate degrees in education have been named 2009 Boxley Scholars.

Jenny Beck
Jenny Beck is a first grade teacher at Crete Public Schools in Crete, Neb., where she has served as a member of the language arts, math and technology curriculum committees and has trained in the instruction of SRA Reading Mastery Signature Edition. Beck earned a Bachelor’s degree in education from Emporia State University.
Khris Buckner
Khris Buckner is the physical education teacher for fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth grades at Auburn Public Schools in Auburn, Neb. Buckner also serves as head boy’s track coach, the offensive coordinator and assistant coach for the varsity football team, and eighth grade boys and girls basketball coach. Buckner earned his Bachelor’s degree in physical education from PSC.
Julie Dygert teaches fifth and sixth grade social studies and seventh grade reading/resources at Morton Magnet Middle School in Omaha, Neb. Dygert earned a Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 
Oscar Gonzalez
Oscar Gonzalez is the seventh and eighth grade Spanish IB Teacher at Millard North Middle School in Omaha, Neb., where he also serves as the head junior varsity girls soccer coach and assistant varsity girls soccer coach. Gonzalez co-sponsors the International Club and has served as a peer coach for another Spanish teacher. He earned Bachelor’s degrees in biology and Spanish from Barton College. 
Sarah Kamala
Sarah Kamala teaches first grade at the Kamali’i Elementary School in Makawao, Hawaii.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Francisco State University. 
Shawne Nelson
Shawne Nelson is a fourth grade teacher at Yutan Public Schools in Yutan, Neb.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 
Keri Sutherland
Keri Sutherland teaches kindergarten at the Wauneta-Palisade Schools in Wauneta, Neb., where she also serves as high school cheerleading coach and is president of the Wauneta-Palisade Education Association. Sutherland earned a Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. 
Gregory Verraneault
Gregory Verraneault is a fourth grade teacher and head soccer coach for fifth and sixth grade boys at Western Hills University Partnership Elementary School in Omaha, Neb. Verraneault is an active member of the Safe Secure Discipline Schools and volunteers for the Global Youth Service Day.  He is an active participant in his school’s EXCELS Strategic Planning Team and Pearson’s Learning Team, and he serves on the technology committee. Verraneault was nominated for the Omaha Education Associate Rookie Teacher of the Year award. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Valerie Wagner
Valerie Wagner is a humanities teacher at Benson Magnet High School in Omaha, Neb., where she also serves as sponsor for the art club and the academic decathlon. Wagner is a supervisor for post prom and is a member of the school beautification committee. She was awarded the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” for the 2004-2005 school year. Wagner earned a Bachelor’s degree in public service from Wayne State College and completed a teaching endorsement at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 
Amy B. Werts
Amy B. Werts teaches preschool and Title 1 at Humboldt Table Rock Steinauer (HTRS) Public Schools and resides in Humboldt, Neb.  Werts has served as a grant reviewer and has been on the grant panel for the Nebraska State Department of Education. She is a member of the Southeast Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Development Partnership and was instrumental in developing and starting the preschool program at HTRS. Werts earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and early childhood education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Along with the distinction, students are awarded Boxley Scholarships that cover full tuition, fees and books for the entire 19-month online cohort program. PSC’s online cohort program is unique in that it involves a group of students who enroll and progress through the graduate program together, creating a community in which they collaborate on projects and extend their support to one another.

PSC President Dan Hanson said, “The financial benefit of this scholarship cannot be overstated. It can make all the difference for professional educators who want to increase their knowledge and skills by pursuing an advanced degree. I want to congratulate these students on receiving this honor.”

The awards were made possible because of the generosity of PSC alum Mr. Ken Boxley of Beverly Hills, Calif. Boxley is chairman of the Board of the American Asian Association, Inc., a long distance telephone company linking the continental United States with several countries in Asia.

Hanson said, “Mr. Boxley’s generosity and willingness to support continuing education for professional educators is nothing short of inspirational. Ken has said that ‘education is the answer to many, if not most, of the problems this nation faces today. And, the education of teachers is most important.’ We at Peru State College could not agree more, and we are exceedingly grateful for Mr. Boxley’s support of our students.”