The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 30, 2001, Page 5, Image 5

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    UNL grads seek teaching careers
TEACHERS from page 1
only with recruiters from
Southern California on
MI like the people, and I like
the Midwest But the pay is just
too low,” he said.
Wicherski said everyone he
talked to said they planned on
going out of state to work.
“They're losing everybody,”
he said.
But Nebraska’s teacher
salaries - which rank 45th in the
nation - haven’t gone unnoticed
by state legislators.
The Legislature’s Revenue
Committee recently passed a
bill proposing to increase the
sales tax from 5 percent to 5.25
percent, with the raise going to
fund teachers’ pay.
And with the Legislature
looking for ways to boost
teacher pay, coupled with the
closeness to home, not all
Nebraska graduates want to go
James Freeman, director of
recruitment for the Omaha
' Public Schools, said he was
pleased with the number of stu
dents who showed up for inter
In fact, Freeman wasn’t even
scheduled to man the OPS
booth at the fair - the crowd of
students caused his colleagues
to call in Freeman for extra help.
But Freeman didn’t mind
because he knew he’d be recruit
ing top-notch teachers, he said.
“I go all over the country, and
I feel UNL is superior,” he said.
Jan Gleason, personnel
administrator for the Omaha
Public Schools, said the day was
"absolutely fantastic.”
"It’s one of the best days
we’ve ever had,” she said.
Students were lined up,
waiting to talk to Omaha
recruiters, she said.
And while much of Nebraska
faces a teacher salary crunch,
Gleason said Omaha schools
offered solid benefits packages
that graduating Teachers
College students like.
Keith Crocker, a UNL senior
music education major, said he
hoped to stay near Nebraska
after graduation.
"Most of my family’s in this
area,” he said. *Td like to stay
dose to them."
“No matter where you are, it’s not going to he
much more money."
Keith Crocker
■ _UNL senior music education major
For Crocker, money isn’t the
issue, he said.
"No matter where you are,
it’s not going to be much more
money," he said.
Gene Hughes, director of
special education at the
Browning Public Schools in
Browning, Mont., said he came
to UNL to recruit special educa
tion teachers.
Browning Public Schools,
located on the Blackfeet Indian
Reservation, has about 1,800
students attending its district
schools, he said.
Hughes said he noticed most
of the students flocked toward
the recruiters from larger cities,
such as Omaha, Kansas City and
"But we hit their lines and
stole some people out of them,"
he said.
Hughes said he thought
many students looked at where
a school was located, not how
large it was.
"It seems a lot of graduates
want to stay at home,” he said.
Suzy Thompson, an elemen
tary school principal at the
Denver Public Schools, said she
interviewed 34 people
About 70,000 students
attend schools in the Denver
School District; more than
45,000 attend Omaha Public
Most of the UNL students
Thompson interviewed were
comparable with Colorado
trained students, she said.
At the recruitment fair,
Thompson offered four con
tracts to students to work in the
Denver schools.
"This is the first time Denver
has sent people to Nebraska,”
she said. "I’m going to recom
mend we return in the future.”
Schafer reflects on former presidency
SCHAFER from page 1
college at Creighton University
in Omaha, but he transferred
because he didn't think it was
the right place for him.
Like many students, Schafer
overcame obstacles in his per
sonal life.
Throughout his life, Schafer
said, he's battled the blues. But
his sadness grew when he got to
college, and his grades were
*1 went through depression
my sophomore year, and it got
so bad that I considered drop
ping out,” he said.
Schafer said everything
changed when he talked to
English professor Bob
The professor, as well as
counselors at the University
Health Center, helped Schafer
work through his problems.
If it weren't for Bergstrom,
Schafer said, he would have left
college and entered the work
Schafer said his bout with
^ depression-and the fact he got
through it - gave him die confi
dence he needed to run for
ASUN president
”1 had dealt with something
that was really bad, and I beat
it,” he said. ”1 had this feeling
like, ‘I beat this, and I can do
Schafer decided to run for
president while sitting at a cof
fee shop with UNL senior Casey
Brown. Schafer and Brown were
discussing their dissatisfaction
with the university.
”Kind of on a whim, I was
like, ‘Well, 111 run for ASUN
president’” he said.
”! wasn't happy with my
place on campus,” he said. *1 felt
like I was just a number.”
Schafer said he wasn’t
expecting to win. On the night
of the run-off election, Schafer
got up and started to make a
speech that prepared the crowd
for a loss.
“I really didn’t think we were
going to win,” he said, “but in
the middle of that speech I got
the call that we did win.”
After he was elected, a lot of
people - including himself -
doubtfed whether he would be a
good president
But during his year as presi
dent, Schafer said he gained
new leadership skills, including
listening and becoming a better
public speaker.
Hal Hansen, Government
Liaison Committee chairman,
said Schafer caught on quickly
to the world of politics.
“For someone who doesn't
have a background in politics,
he took to it like a duck in
water,” he said.
Schafer was good at relating
to all types of people, Hansen
Hansen said he had seen
Schafer turn countless people’s
frowns into smiles.
“Students walk in absolutely
hating Joel Schafer, and they
leave the office thinking that
Joel Schafer is the greatest pres
ident that ASUN ever had,” he
said. “And I’m not exaggerat
Bergstrom, the professor
who helped Schafer out of his
depression, agreed Schafer did
an excellent job as student gov
ernment president.
“I’m very proud of him,” he
said. “I think all the university
students should be proud of
him. He’s a good example of a
University of Nebraska stu
"Students walk in absolutely hating Joel Schafer,;
and they leave the office thinking that Joel
Schafer is the greatest president that ASUN ever
had. And I'm not exaggerating
Hal Hansen
Government Liaison Committee chairman
Schafer said that although
he had a hectic schedule
between school and governing,
he made it homd to Omaha
almost every Sunday.
“Home is a great place to
be,” he said.
Schafer said his family had
been an important support
group for him.
“I have a great family who
cares a lot about me,” he said.
“They believed in me when
things were bad, and I didn’t
believe in myself.”
Being a student member of
the Board of Regents was also an
important part of Schafer’s job,
he said.
Schafer said he was always
prepared for the meetings and
wasn’t afraid of the regents.
“I didn’t feel like they could
push me around,” he said. “I
was never really intimidated.
The job did have its low
points, though, Schafer said.
“I think the biggest chal
lenge is the job can be a thank
less job sometimes,” he said.
Keeping senators motivated
was also a big task, he said.
Stress is also a big part of
being AS UN president, he said.
Schafer endured the rough
times by turning to friends, fam
ily and his girlfriend.
“I relied a lot on the people
close to me,” he said. “I had peo
New tests beneficial in real world
HWPSfrom page!
person toward different careers.
Stuhr said the state had gone
about its business differently in
the past, but new conditions
demand newprograms.
“We have to look at changing
the direction we’re going,” she
Sen. Bob Wickersham of
Harrison said he wouldn't let new
conditions isolate students.
“We should not use a testing
method to set aside some stu
dents,” he said.
Stuhr said the program would
not pit student against student
because all students in districts
that request the funds would get
the chance to take the test.
"These programs are available
tn all indents,” she said.
Students aside, Wickersham
said, it wasn't wise to create anoth
er educational program when a
massive, multi-million dollar
teacher-pay proposal is looming.
Plus, he said, bumping up die
state’s teacher pay, which ranks
45* in the nation, is a more “com
pelling" need than creating the
Not all ofthe senators, though,
felt the state dollars would be
Sen. Ray Aguilar of Grand
Island said the program would
help students decide whether
technical schools - as opposed to
colleges and universities - were a
better fit for them.
“This is really a great idea," he
The University of Nebraska,
which draws the majority of
Nebraska students, is planning to
raise tuition soon, he said By let
ting students know if they need to
shell out the extra bucks for an
education, he said, the state
would be doing its youth a great
Sen. Ernie Chambers of
Omaha wasn't ready to condemn
the idea of guiding students to
areas where they would exceL
But, he said, the program sim
ply doesn't have the financial
backbone it needs to be effective.
Originally, the fund was slated
to receive $1.5 million of state
money. In committee, lawmakers
reduced that number to $500,000.
And Chambers said $500,000
just isn’t enough to do much on
the state leveL
A few thousand dollars might
help a small, rural district, he said.
In Omaha, though, he said, a few
grand is merely a drop in the buck
“Too little can sometimes be
worse than nothing at all,” he said.
More importantly, he said,
teachers should already be teach
ing skills that are so fundamental
ly necessary.
If they're not, he said, perhaps
they don’t deserve the extra
money the state is working to give
Chambers lambasted the
Omaha Public School District for
testifying in favor of the bill
because by giving the bill its stamp
of approval, it essentially admitted
that it wasn't doing its job.
Chambers said every student
should receive instruction in a
variety of dolls. If the state sends
its students off on different
“tracks,” he said, it will push some
students toward “any-and-all”
opportunities while dooming oth
ers to limited jobs.
Stuhr said the state would
simply be filling in a gap in
instruction and helping students
learn what was best for them.
Chambers questioned the size
of the gap in instruction.
“If $500,000 will solve the
(problem), we don’t have a prob
lem,” he said.
pie around me who were really
All in all, Schafer said the
positives of being ASUN presi
dent far outweighed the nega
“It was worth it," he said. “It
was definitely worth it.”
Ariel Bybee
Richard Fleming
Elizabeth Franklin
Sara Granberg-Rademacker
Robert Hitchcock
Laurie Homer
Dennis Leblanc
Linda Major
Hans Patuwo
Joy Ritchie
Viann Schroeder
Kathy Stastny
Lois White
7:00 PM
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v 14th & P LincolnOmaha 132n<T& Center J
Infectious disease
could hurt farmers
DISEASE from page 1
know if the United States has
been taking the appropriate
precautions to prevent the dis
ease from penetrating its bor
On March 16, Nelson mailed
a letter to Secretary of
Agriculture Ann Veneman that
expressed his concerns about
the disease.
“With the cattle industry
alone a more than $4 billion
industry in Nebraska, you can
understand my great concern
about the possibility of a (foot
and-mouth disease) outbreak in
this country,” he said.
In the letter, Nelson asked if
the U.S. Department of
Agriculture could “fully moni
tor” all of the country’s ports.
David DiMartino, a
spokesman for Nelson, said the
senator hadn’t received a
response yet
Dr. Larry Williams,
Nebraska’s state veterinarian,
said his agency and the federal
government were combining
forces to make sure livestock
owners like Alexander never had
to deal with the massive conse
quences of an outbreak.
Specifically, he said, the
groups are trying to reword fed
eral legislation so the Federal
Emergency Management
Agency could release emer
gency funds to help lessen the
ernnnmir impart on owners Of
diseased animals.
Currently, the agency par
tially reimburses livestock own
ers who lose animals in other
natural disasters, like floods and
The Nebraska Legislature is
beefing up the state's ability to
handle livestock diseases by
outlining specific plans and
injecting die effort with money.
Also, Williams said, the state
has drawn up its own contin
“With the cattle
industry alone a more
than $4 billion
industry in Nebraska,
you can understand
my great concern
about the possibility
of a (foot-and-mouth
disease) outbreak in
this country, ”
Sen. Ben Nelson
gency plan so it could begin bat
tling the problem before the
federal government starts react
And moving quickly was
crucial to minimizing the possi
ble outbreak's economic ramifi
cations, he said.
“The time makes millions of
dollars of difference,’* he said.
Under the plan, he said, gov
ernment officials would imme
diately quarantine infected ani
mals arid restrict the movement
of livestock in surrounding
The state can’t execute
infected animals without the
federal government's go-ahead,
he said.
Before culling herds, he said,
the Feds have to approve
indemnity funds used to reim
burse livestock owners for their
With more than 6 million
cattle roaming across Nebraska
that are worth more than $6 bil
lion, Williams said, the federal
government could get stuck
handing out huge chunks of
"It runs into the hundreds of
millions of dollars quickly,” he
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University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Relay for Life
Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22,2001
6pm to 6am
UNL City Campus, Memorial Drive
Registration due March 30