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October 17, 2017

South Sioux City teacher named Nebraska's 2018 Teacher of the Year
Michelle Helt holds her award.
Michelle Helt holds her award.

In a surprise presentation Monday, Oct. 2., Michelle Helt, third grade teacher at Cardinal Elementary School, was named Nebraska 2018 Teacher of the Year.

“She's a great leader amongst our teaching staff,” said Todd Strom, district superintendent. “She's the epitome of what a great teacher should be.”

Nebraska Commissioner of Education Matt Blomstedt presented the award. Helt was one of three finalists for the award along with Joni Ebel of Columbus Middle School in Columbus and Rachael Ann Burns of Omaha Northwest Magnet School. Helt has spent her entire career at Cardinal Elementary, beginning in 2002 as a resource and Title I reading teacher at both Cardinal and St. Michael’s Catholic School. She then served as an ESL and resource teacher for one year before becoming a third grade teacher, a position she has held since 2004.

“The quality of all of our teachers are exemplified in a room like this,” said Marcia Mahon, School Board President. “It's nice as a smaller community to get on the map. The Board is very proud of her.”

In addition to her classroom experience, Helt is also on the school improvement team, the South Sioux City Professional Development Committee, and is a mentor for practicum students from area colleges. Helt was also a founding member of the South Sioux City District Curriculum Council.

“I love what I do,” Helt said. “It is an absolute blessing to come to work every day.”

Helt will be honored by the State Board of Education at a November luncheon and will participate in the National Teacher of the Year competition later this year.

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