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Educational Service Unit #13


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Professional Learning Staff Profile


                                                                                                August 2017

                                                       Area:  SOAR-Sharing Opportunities Achieving Results

                                          Core Instructional Support Service Program for Staff Development


                               Staffing:  In addition to this staff, SOAR supports professional developers in

                                                          Special Services, Technology and Early Childhood.


Jadie Beam

Director of Staff Development


Jadie Beam  came to us from Gering Schools where she was as a teacher of special needs students before serving for many years as a reading program coordinator and reading coach. Jadie is a Direct Instruction trainer for the Reading Mastery programs and has shared those skills in schools across the state and around the country. She has earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration. Among other topics, she will support reading, instructional coaching, special education, assessment and leadership.


Dr. Julie Downing, Ed.D.

Staff Developer


Julie has been a K-12 curriculum and assessment specialist, Title I and Kindergarten classroom teacher, most recently in Gordon-Rushville.  She has earned a masters degree, an endorsement in assessment and administration and has finished a Doctoral degree through UNL. She is using her expertise to support specific schools in northern Nebraska to advance their curriculum, instructional and assessment systems. She holds certifications as an NWEA trainer, Frameworks for Teaching, and shares leadership of the PLACES group and Reading Coaches cadre at ESU13. In addition, she serves in state leadership roles for ESU's in NE. 

Amy Trauernicht

Staff Developer


Amy has been education for nearly 25 years. Amy has been an elementary teacher as well as Title Math and keyboarding instructor. Her last ten years were spent as Assessment/Curriculum Director for the district.  She holds a MA in Education as well as a Specialist Endorsement in Assessment Leadership.  She is certified to train staff in many areas of assessment as well as review schools for accreditation through NDE and AdvancED.  


Michelle Keszler

Staff Developer


Michelle has returned to work with ESU#13 after a time spent as a district curriculum director in Bridgeport.  She holds certifications as an NWEA trainer and Aha! Poverty trainer. Michelle is based in the Sidney office to also serve southern interests. Michelle has an endorsement in ESL and double master’s degrees in elementary education and middle level mathematics.

Lisa Myles

Staff Developer


Lisa began working with ESU#13 in January 2011.  As the former Principal of Summit Ridge Middle School in Littleton Colorado, she has earned awards for promoting the elements of creativity, reflection and collaboration as well as being designated a high performance growth school. She has been a science teacher at both middle and high school.  Her educational master’s degree is in curriculum and instruction. Before her career in science teaching and school administration, Lisa was a clinical instructor in Chemistry and Immunology for the Medical Technology Program of the University of Colorado Health Science Center and earned a  master’s degree in health administration.

Perla Ayala

Office Assistant



Perla has been the ESU receptionist for several years.  SOAR is using her energy to assist with  developing the flyers and hospitality for training sessions and  manages the production area.  She also produces the handouts and materials needed for regional workshops for SOAR. 

Teresa Phillips

Office Assistant


Before joining ESU#13, Teresa had worked in an intermediate agency, a BOCES , in Colorado helping to coordinate nursing services.  She brings library skills and an attention to detail that enhances our record-keeping and registration systems!


Lois Herbel

June Lacy

Vicki Kotchwar

Historic School Teachers

As one of our popular student events, the Banner County Museum co-sponsors all area fourth graders to spend a day in school in 1888.  .  Historic School is usually open for 45 days.  A northern school is also available for that area upon request. SOAR hires teachers to take the role of the “school marm” and give students a taste of life over 100 years ago.