August 16, 2022

Neighborhood Daily News

News, Information & Events from Omaha, Nebraska Neighborhoods

Meet Joslyn’s Mentor Teachers

This post was originally published on this site

The following article was acquired from Joslyn Art Museum! Please visit Joslyn Art Museum to learn more! Follow on Twitter: Joslyn Art Museum!

Camile Coonrod (left), former Weitz Family Fellow, explains The Blackberry Girls by William Sidney Mount to (left to right) Josie Langbehn, Julie Daigle, and Trever Reeh.

Camille Coonrod (left), former Weitz Family Fellow, explains The Blackberry Girls by William Sidney Mount to (left to right) Josie Langbehn, Julie Daigle, and Trever Reeh.

Six times during the school year, a group of teachers meet at Joslyn to study an artist and their artwork to create a lesson plan for Thursdays for Teachers (T4T). Who are these wonderful educators responsible for collaborating with Museum staff to create the curriculum? They are our Mentor Teachers, and I would like to introduce you to the current team.


Julie leading a Thursdays for Teachers workshop.

Julie leading a Thursdays for Teachers workshop.

Julie Daigle

Art Teacher, Sarpy and Central Elementary Schools
When it comes to teaching, Julie has probably taught every subject at one time, with art as her passion and favorite subject. Early in her tenure as a Mentor Teacher, she was an art teacher who also taught a math class. When Julie let us know that her family was relocating to Alaska, due to her Airforce husband’s new position, I thought how lucky her new school district would be to have such a talented teacher on staff. Needless to say when they moved back to Nebraska two years later, I was overjoyed to welcome Julie back to the Mentor Teacher team. I appreciate Julie’s confident manner – she can really teach anything, and has shared her techniques during various T4T workshops. Now that she has elementary art students, she reminds us how to adapt the lesson for the younger students.

JosieLangbehnJosephine Langbehn

Art Teacher, Monroe Middle School
Josie is a teacher with many different hats so I was delighted with she offered to share her time and talents and join the Mentor Teacher team. This 2015-2016 Nebraska Art Teacher Association’s Teacher of the Year award recipient may also be found on the dance floor when not in the classroom. I appreciate her proactive spirit – this summer she participated in Nebraska Department of Education’s STEM Academy, and then we worked together to transition Joslyn’s comprehensive lesson plans to STEAM-based curriculum.

LH: What makes a good teacher?
JL: A good teacher is one that listens, continues to learn, gives their students the opportunity to use their voice, advocates in the best interest of students and community, and encourages and empowers our young leaders.

Cowtown2016LH: What historical event do you wish you could have personally witnessed?
JL: I have two historical events that I wish I could have witnessed. The first event would have been the dance contest at The Savoy ballroom when Chick Webb and his orchestra was playing while Frankie Manning did an aerial with his partner for the first time. I love Lindy Hop. I would have love to see the greats in action and to experience the Savoy Ballroom where Lindy Hop was born. The second event, well not so much an event, but it would be to hear Eleanor Roosevelt speak and then to meet her. I truly admire Eleanor Roosevelt.

LH: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
JL: My favorite ice cream flavor is Thai Ice Tea…. no wait… it’s Cookies and Cream…….. nope wait it’s Archetype Coffee. I have to many favorites, but all my favorite flavors come from Coneflower Creamery.

LH: What is your hope for 2017?
JL: My hope for 2017 is many. For my professional career, I hope that I continue to strive to be the best art educator that I can be. I also hope I make lots of art both through painting and dancing, and that I continue to improve at my arts. For the world I hope, among many other hopes, to there will be progress towards equality of education.


Carter leading a Thursdays for Teachers workshop.

Carter leading a Thursdays for Teachers workshop.

Carter Leeka

Music Teacher, Sts. Peter and Paul School & St. Matthew School
Carter’s enthusiasm for connecting the arts, especially music, to any subject is contagious. And it is no surprise his favorite artist is Chris Rashka who interweaves art, music, and poetry in his books. In addition to writing curriculum, Carter has presented T4T workshops and revamped the lessons for the Ancient Egypt outreach trunk. I appreciate it when I’m stuck, I can give him that challenge, and his creative approach provides a unique solution and our lessons are even better.

LH: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
CL: During the Christmas concert, a little girl (about 2) walks in front of the choir in the middle of a song. She stops, looks up at the kids singing and sees her cousin on the second riser. Very deliberately she climbs the riser steps to join him in the group. Without missing a beat, Elliott reaches down and takes her hand and finishes the song with her looking up at him. The audience burst into applause and laughter.

JeanLeonGeromeLH: What is your favorite artwork at Joslyn?
CL: Jean-Léon Gérôme’s The Grief of the Pasha due to the depth of the restrained emotional response of the pasha.

LH: What historical event do you wish you could have personally witnessed?
CL: The first performance of Le Sacre du Printemps by Stravinsky and Ballet Russe. It turned the dance and musical world on its ear. Click here for trailer by BelAirClassiques.

LH: What do you remember from your first day of teaching?
CL: The first day of band rehearsal at a new school, I had passed out easier music to boost playing confidence. As we began the first piece, one of the trumpet players raised his hand. He said that they couldn’t play the piece. The first thing that went through my mind was that I had selected something offensive or sacrilegious, but asked “why not”. He told me that I had not written in the fingerings. I told him I would not be doing that, but we would learn to read the music. By the end of his senior year, he had earned a full ride music scholarship.

SueOles2Susan Oles

English Teacher, Retired
Sue approached me after a Thursdays for Teacher session with some constructive criticism, and that was the start of our friendship. She graciously accepted the invitation to join the Mentor Teacher team. I appreciate her contributions as she explains how to weave language arts into lesson. Following her retirement from Central High School, she continues to add her “Nebraska via New York” perspective to the conversation as well as her delightful stories of her grandchildren.

LH: What is your teaching philosophy?
SO: Let the student discover what works for them. Each perspective is different and sometimes that perspective is criticized making the student internalize their thinking. Encouraging each child to recognize that he or she is an individual and their perspective is okay was a challenge that I did not always do successfully. I think that art is an excellent vehicle to encourage any individual’s perspective.

AugustRodinLH: What is your favorite artwork at Joslyn?
SO: August Rodin’s, One of the Burghers of Calais: Andrieu D’Andres. The pure ability of the artist has always mesmerized me with this piece. I followed it from the interior of the Joslyn to the exterior, and find that my ability to sit and stare at this piece is infinite.

LH: Tell us your bio in six words.
SO: A still soul reaping great love.

LH: What is your favorite color and how do you describe it to someone who is sight impaired?
SO: Yellow. I would describe it with the feeling of warmth and the smell of spring after the rain has stopped.

LH: What makes a good teacher?
SO: Knowledge and the courage to recognize that it is important to give the student an educated mind that will help to navigate his/her world.

TreverReehTrever Reeh

Math Teacher, Schuyler Central High School
In his third year as a Mentor Teacher, Trever is the “newest” member of our group. I appreciate Trever’s openness to try new things as he taps into his inner artist and comes up with fantastic math (and more) connections for the lessons. Don’t let his reserved demeanor fool you, his superhero power is teaching! If you are on “the Twitter,” I encourage you to follow @treverreeh to see the adventures on which he takes his students.

LH: What is your go to quote or saying?
TR: “The future of education is already inside your classroom.” by John Spencer and AJ Juliana

LH: What inspires you?
TR: Students inspire me, especially what they play on their phones. I try to incorporate what they are interested in into the classroom.

GeneDavisLH: What is your favorite artwork at Joslyn?
TR: Friar Tuck by Gene Davis. I love the vertical lines and color patterns, probably because I am a math teacher.

LH: What is your teaching philosophy?
TR: Education is not supposed to be boring, learning should be fun. Getting students engaged and motivated are one of my strengths. I love using different strategies and technologies to engage learners. My favorite students are the “hard to reach” students and developing rapport with them.

LH: What is your favorite way to see if students or paying attention?
TR: Sometimes I will draw rough pictures of students on the board, sometimes they realize its them, I am not good at drawing.


Working on the lesson plan for Jacob Lawrence.

Working on the lesson plan for Jacob Lawrence.


Over the years, I’m honored to get to work with these talented teachers, who I also consider friends. The times we get together to write are filled with laughter, “ah-hah” moments, and it hardly seems like we are working. Julie, Josie, Carter, Sue, and Trever, thank you.



We are currently looking for a social studies teacher and science teacher to join the mentor teachers. Basic qualifications include at least five years classroom teaching experience, participation in T4T, and the ability to demonstrate how you incorporate art into your teaching. If you are interested, please email me We would love to have you!

Looking for curriculum for your classroom? Please check out the lesson plans created over the years by the current team of mentor teachers as well as others who also contributed to the lessons.


Last but not least, check the announcements for pertinent information for educators, and click here to sign up to receive the school programs eNewsletter just for you! Use #JOSLYNteachers on social media to continue the conversations.

LMHLaura Huntimer
Director of School Programs & Interactive Media


The article above was acquired from Joslyn Art Museum! Please visit Joslyn Art Museum to learn more! Follow on Twitter: Joslyn Art Museum!

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