Peru State College
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News Release

Peru State Awards Nine Full Tuition Boxley Graduate Scholarships to Area Teachers


(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) today announced that nine area teachers pursuing graduate degrees in education have been named 2011 Boxley Scholars.


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 congratulate these students on receiving this prestigious honor.”


Dean of Graduate Programs Dr. Greg Seay said, “The Boxley Scholarship is designed specifically for practitioners, those already in the classroom making an impact on students every day. To see these professionals return to school to increase their knowledge and improve their teaching skills is a true testament to the importance of life-long learning. What better example for students in schools today than to see their teachers practice what they preach by continuing their education? It is a testament to their character. After all, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.’”


The awards are 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.”


Recipients include:


Daniel Ackland

Daniel Ackland – Wichita, Kan.

Ackland has been a fifth grade teacher at Valley Center Public Schools – Wheatland Elementary in Valley Center, Kan., since 2007.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from PSC in 2006.


Ackland serves on the Professional Development Council and the District Improvement Team. He has served as president and vice president of the Valley Center National Education Association and is a member of the Interest-Based Bargaining Unit. Ackland volunteers for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the Kansas Humane Society Foster Home.

Daniel Ackland

Megan Beacom - Lincoln, Neb.

Beacom has taught first grade at Holmes Elementary School in Lincoln, Neb., since 2008. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in education and human services from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her student teaching, substitute teaching, and Para-Educator Substitute were all with the Lincoln Public School district.


Beacom worked for three years to implement one-on-one, intensive in-home ABA therapy for a child with autism. She put into effect behavior modification plans and developed specific reinforcements.

Daniel Ackland

Traci Bogacz – Omaha, Neb.

Bogacz earned a Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009 and has been teaching for Papillion-LaVista Public Schools at Tara Heights Elementary (first grade) and Anderson Grove Elementary (second grade) since graduation. Bogacz was a preschool teacher for four years, a substitute teacher for five years, and served as a childcare program director for five years. 

Daniel Ackland

Katie Jorgensen – Minden, Neb.

Jorgensen earned a Bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2004 and a Bachelor’s degree in education from Peru State in 2008. She just completed her first year of teaching third grade at East Elementary in Minden, Neb., where she also served as the Kindergarten through third grade art teacher for one year. Jorgensen also operates Jorgensen Photo Notes.

Daniel Ackland

Jessica Kipple – Omaha, Neb.

Kipple has taught third grade for Omaha Public Schools for four years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2006 where she focused on intermediate grades math and science.

Daniel Ackland

Christopher Peterson – Omaha, Neb.

Peterson served as the department chair/social studies teacher at Blackburn Alternative High School for two years before being promoted to chair the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Public Schools Social Studies Program with the UNO-OPS Alternative Program. He also taught in the Early Childhood Development Program with Omaha Westside Public Schools for three years.


Peterson earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2000 and a Bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an endorsement in history and political science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2008.

Daniel Ackland

John R. Powers – Omaha, Neb.

Powers has taught fourth and fifth grades at Robert L. Ackerman Elementary since 2003 and previously taught fifth grade at Willowdale Elementary, both of which are part of Millard Public Schools. Powers’ educational assessments include Geography Club chair, Electronic Grade Book initiator, Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year, Study Center co-chair, Guided Reading Action Team and Singapore Math Model Drawing.


Powers earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2002. 

Daniel Ackland

Stephanie Schulte – Rock Island, Ill.

Schulte earned an Associate of Arts degree from Black Hawk College in Moline, Ill., in 2002 and a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill., in 2004. She taught third grade one year and has been a first and second grade multiage classroom teacher in the Rock Island/Milan School District since 2006. Schulte is currently teaching at the Rock Island Center for Math and Science.


Schulte’s educational contributions include colleague collaboration; reading/writing cadre; SIP Leadership Team; Curriculum Development Team; Kiwanis Kids Club; and Learning Lab, an after school intervention program.

Daniel Ackland

Stephanie Seales – Topeka, Kan.

Seales has taught Kindergarten and pre-Kindergarten at Avondale East Elementary in Topeka, Kan., since 2006. She has participated in the district-wide Positive Behavior Support Team and attended trainings to teach ways to implement school-wide changes as well as individual classroom modifications to encourage positive behaviors in students. Seales has served on the School Climate Committee to foster encouragement for staff members in times of need and has planned activities for school and personal achievements. She has also been a member of the Building Math and Reading Committees.


Seales earned Bachelor’s degree in education from Washburn University in 2005.