Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) partnered with Husker Athletics for Touchdown for Teachers (T4T), recognizing the educators who go above and beyond to support their students and improve their communities across Nebraska. 

Through the T4T campaign, community members are asked to nominate an educator who has impacted their lives for the Outstanding Nebraska Teacher Award. In total, the campaign received 850 nominations from across the state. 

BCBSNE and Husker Athletics are proud to announce this year’s Outstanding Nebraska Teacher Award recipients: 

Julie Eastridge – Kindergarten teacher at Black Elk Elementary School, Omaha 

Eastridge has taught many students during her 35 years as an educator, making learning fun and engaging for each one. 

“She has given so much of her time as an educator, but also wears many other hats throughout the day,” one nomination said. “She always has a positive attitude and makes everyone feel part of the family when you walk in the room.” 

Becky Lindgren – Math teacher at Elgin High School 

Lindgren has inspired students for 33 years, and this year, fought and won her battle with ovarian cancer. Despite chemo treatments, Lindgren continued to show up, putting her students at the top of her list.  

“My son having the opportunity to watch her persevere through her treatments with a positive attitude and determination is something I’ll always be grateful for,” one nomination said. 

Monica Maly – Special education teacher at Blair High School 

A special education teacher for the last six years, Maly has thought creatively to offer spaces, opportunities and specialized plans for her students to feel like they belong somewhere and have a place to succeed.  

“Monica goes above and beyond, nurturing minds and hearts alike,” one nomination said. “Her passion for education and community upliftment serves as a beacon of inspiration.” 

Tami Phillips – Sixth grade teacher at Sargent Public Schools 

For the past three years, Phillipps has battled stage four colon cancer while continuing her role as a teacher and volleyball coach and impacting each student she teaches. 

“Tami is the type of teacher every student wishes to have throughout their school years,” one nomination said. “Her room is always inviting, and often times, over her lunch hour, one will find students in her room simply catching up.” 

Brianna Richards – Special education teacher at Fullerton Elementary School, Omaha 

For 17 years, Richards has gone above and beyond, working countless hours teaching, creating support plans and modifying activities to help her special education students be independent and successful. 

“She works countless hours teaching and helping children with special education needs,” one nomination said. “She spends extra hours creating individual education plans, putting support plans in place and modifying activities to help her students.” 

In April, Herbie Husker, representatives from BCBSNE and Husker Athletics and the school’s administration surprised each teacher with a football signed by Matt Rhule, the Husker’s head football coach, a framed certificate and tickets to attend the Nebraska Football Red-White Spring Game. 

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