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Thayer Central instructor awarded American Legion Teacher of the Year

The Nebraska American Legion ‘Teacher of the Year’ program recognizes dedicated and devoted individuals who give so much of themselves on behalf of the youth of Nebraska.


Her consistent dedication to recognizing the nation’s veterans and their service to the country caught the attention of local American Legion members, said Commander Lyle Bucholzer, which is how Jane Dodes came to be nominated by the local group for “Teacher of the Year.” And in the end, spreading that message to area youth through the classroom and church earned the Thayer Central fourth-grade teacher the award.

Each year the Nebraska American Legion, through the Department Americanism Committee, recognizes devoted teachers who go above and beyond their profession. Consideration for the “Teacher of the Year” is given to accredited instructors whose activities in the field of education are in excess of what would be expected and who promote American Legion youth programs.

“For the last few years Jane has volunteered to take the lead in hosting our Veteran’s Day program,” said Thayer Central Superintendent Drew Harris in a letter to the Americanism Committee during the nomination. “Since taking leadership of the event, she has elevated the quality of the program considerably – a fact recognized by many in our community, as reflected in the many positive comments I have received from patrons.”

Dodes is also responsible for taking students from her church youth group to visit veterans at the local assisted living and nursing homes. “The history she gets from these men and women is wonderful for our youth to hear,” said the Rev. Mark Baldwin in a letter to the committee.

Dodes received her award June 25 at the American Legion State Convention in North Platte.

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