Stephanie Lynn Dannehl

Stephanie Lynn Dannehl

School Librarian/Tech Integration Specialist
Bertrand Community School
Bertrand, Nebraska

“The technology that Mrs. Dannehl has been able to make available to us has definitely changed the way that I teach and has given the students in our school an opportunity that many do not get.”

Thanks to Stephanie’s visionary leadership, the Bertrand Community School library serves as a vibrant technology hub for students and their families. As one colleague writes, “Her creativity and innovative nature have helped her students create projects that other educators haven’t even dreamed of.”

Stephanie’s teaching is at the cutting edge of technology: children learn, play, and create using state-of-the-art tools like mixed reality headsets, architecture software, and 3D printers. With such engaging instruction, even struggling students discover the magic of STEM. One teacher writes, “virtual reality technology has given my students the opportunity to see and ‘visit’ places they can only imagine visiting. With the help of Mrs. Dannehl, I have been able to take my kids to the Great Wall of China, Antarctica, and the Coral Reefs off the coast of Australia. This has opened up a new world to our students.”

Bertrand doesn’t have a public library of its own, so Stephanie strives to make the school library accessible to the community, including after school and during the summer. She brings her passion for STEM instruction to her Tech on the Deck program, where she shows parents and families how to use the technology students work with at school. Not everyone in the community feels comfortable using computers, but Stephanie’s enthusiastic and approachable teaching style allows them to learn about apps and devices in a relaxed setting.   

Stephanie also engages the local community by inviting residents from all walks of life—from bakers to stay-at-home parents to businesspeople—to visit the school library as “guest readers.” These efforts show adults modeling lifelong learning and a love of reading, giving students a variety of role models who prove that literacy is cool.

Read Stephanie Dannehl’s full nomination (PDF)