ARNOLD - - Arnold Public Schools' teacher Nicole Badgley has been named the 2011 Great Plains Communications Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
During her tenure, Badgley helped in the planning, developing and maintaining one of the first 1:1 laptop initiatives for small schools in Nebraska. Due to her efforts, beginning in 2006, all students in 9-12 grades received their own laptops. Eventually, the program was expanded for students K-12.
In addition to her schoolwork, Badgley is the 4-H Leader for the Oconto Club and a member of the Oconto Alumni Committee. Badgley also wrote two FEMA grants for the Oconto volunteer fireman earning more than $275,000 in funds for the department.
“Every day I get to watch high school students find their own voice through writing, reading, filming, videos, music production, creative art
production, graphic design and so many other methods they have produced from one simple laptop and their own imagination,” Badgley stated in her nomination form.
Badgely is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She holds a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English and Journalism, both from UNK as well.
Great Plains Communications is the largest independent telecommunications company in Nebraska and provides services solely to rural areas.
Great Plains Communications was founded in 1910 by E.C. Hunt and is based in Blair. Almost half of the company's employees live and work in the rural towns where they provide service.