Teachers Statewide Chosen for 14th Capitol Forum

Thirty high school teachers from schools across the state have been chosen to participate in the 14th annual Nebraska Capitol Forum on America’s Future. Through Capitol Forum, high school social studies teachers and their students will engage in discussion of our nation’s future in a changing international environment.

A program of the Choices for the 21st Century Project of Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, Capitol Forum seeks to develop a foundation for long-term civic engagement by giving students a voice in public consideration of current issues. Students study and discuss various positions on global concerns to better understand options and their consequences. Global issues to be discussed include terrorism, nuclear weapon proliferation, immigration, trade and the global economy, and environmental concerns.

Dennis Fornander of North Platte and Heidi Reinhart of Duchesne Academy will participate as lead teachers. Together, they have 12 years of combined Capitol Forum experience.

Selected teachers represent rural, urban, public and private schools. Five of the teachers and three of the schools are new to the program this year.

On Aug. 1, the teachers gathered at Educational Service Unit #16 in North Platte to discuss Capitol Forum curriculum and teaching strategies. Guest speaker Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Scot Davis of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in Colorado Springs, Colo., led teachers in a discussion of the role of USNORTHCOM and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in a 21st century world in order to gain insights and approaches to address topics of homeland security and terrorism in their classrooms.

This school year, students will study and discuss Capitol Forum issues in preparation for a March 26 visit to the State Capitol, where class representatives will report and deliberate on the international concerns of their classmates and have opportunities to question members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation about global issues and foreign policy.

Humanities Nebraska presents Capitol Forum in collaboration with the office of Secretary of State John Gale and with funding support in 2011 from the Dillon Foundation, Tom and Rhonda Peed, A to Z Printing, the “We the People” initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the State of Nebraska, and private donations.

Schools and teachers chosen for the 14th Capitol Forum are:

  • Ashland-Greenwood High School (Brian Petermann)
  • West Holt High School, Atkinson (Chris Nemetz)
  • Auburn High School (Bryce Roth)
  • Battle Creek High School (Cody Wintz)
  • Beatrice High School (Joan Workman)
  • Bellevue West High School (Mike McLaughlin)
  • Centura High School, Cairo (George Lytle)
  • Chadron High School (Joe McCarty)
  • Crawford High School (Mary Gould-Traphagan)
  • Dodge Public Schools (Mitch Hoffer)
  • Falls City High School (Lori Rech)
  • Grand Island Senior High School (Tamara Bailey)
  • Hampton High School (Patrick Alexander)
  • Hastings High School (Robert Kerr)
  • Hemingford High School (Dave Chatelain)
  • Holdrege High School (Chad Bailey)
  • Howells High School (Scott Polacek)
  • Lincoln North Star High School (Jace Ahlberg)
  • Pius X High School, Lincoln (Tom Seib)
  • Louisville High School (Nick Bausch)
  • Millard West High School (Ali Bragg)
  • Norfolk Senior High School (Katherine Steinkamp)
  • North Platte High School (N. Dennis Fornander)
  • Creighton Prep High School, Omaha (Kim Meyer)
  • Duchesne Academy, Omaha (Heidi Reinhart)
  • Marian High School, Omaha (David Anderson)
  • Platteview High School, Springfield (Jon Comine)
  • Stanton High School (Jacob Blum)
  • Sterling High School (Arlo Wusk)
  • Wilcox-Hildreth High School (Ken Meyers)



NEH Head Says Humanities Funding Still A Question Mark

National Endowment for the Humanities Acting Chairman Jon Peede was in Omaha re