A Papillion-La Vista South High School teacher recently earned an award for her love of education and dedication to students in dual enrollment classes.

Last month Karlie Hermsen, dual enrollment teacher for PLVS’s Education Academy, was awarded Outstanding Dual Enrollment Teacher of the Year by the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

When Hermsen was notified of the award, she was humbled.

“There are a lot of excellent dual enrollment teachers, not only in Papillion La Vista Community Schools, but in the Metro area,” Hermsen said.

“I look at the dual enrollment teachers just in my building and I think, ‘Gosh, these people are amazing teachers. They do amazing things with students every day.’ I’m very honored to have been selected from all the great dual enrollment teachers in the metro area.”

Through the school’s Education Academy, high school students can earn college credit by taking a high school course that is equivalent to a course offered by UNO’s College of Education.

Hermsen said she is proud to work in a district that offers such opportunities for students.

“Dual Enrollment is really integrated seamlessly into our district curriculum and the UNO College of Education does a great job of providing professional development for those of us across the metro area who teach the dual enrollment Intro to Education course,” she said.

PLVS’s Education Academy partners with the education program at Omaha South High School.

Through the partnership, the schools do a program exchange where students from both schools visit the other to learn about the challenges each school faces.

“Our goal is that students walk away from the exchange with a deeper understanding of a school that is much different than their own and students that have a very different life experience than they do,” she said.

One of her favorite parts of dual enrollment, Hermsen said, is the internship portion of Education Academy where students get a chance to intern in a classroom.

“I love the fact that my students get a lot of hands-on experience in the classroom as an intern before they even graduate high school,” she said. “This gives them such an advantage going into their college education courses.”

While in the course, Hermsen said she wants students to learn what it means to work in education.

“I love seeing students who come back and tell me about how the program made them more confident in their abilities during their college field experience,” she said.

“Even if they ultimately end up down a different path, I’ve helped them figure out what it is they truly want to do before they even finish high school and that’s still a success story for the program in my eyes.”

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