Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: OCC teacher dedicated to providing opportunities

Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: OCC teacher dedicated to providing opportunities

Education is vital to improving lives and reducing recidivism, making teachers an invaluable resource at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS). As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we thank all of our educators that contribute to bettering those in our care at NDCS. At the Omaha Correctional Center (OCC), one of the dedicated teachers there is Amy Sturm. Sturm has been helping men at OCC increase their confidence and improve their chances for success once released for 12 years now.

“Men here can focus on getting a diploma and expand their reentry skills,” said Sturm. “Working on their education creates more choices for them, so they don't have to go back to the limited choices they may have felt confined to in the past.”

Sturm has found she gets a lot of personal rewards from her work. “It's great when students make connections with the material that has been taught, and ultimately, to see them graduate with a diploma or certification they've been working so hard to obtain.”

“Ms. Sturm makes it a priority to maintain the level of services and commitment to our incarcerated population to the best of her ability,” said NDCS Principal Susan Harder. “She is currently working with one other teacher and between them, they maintain a very high level of commitment from their students, to their students, and to the program in general. They strive to get students into class as quickly as possible and maintain a highly professional educational program with high standards and expectations for all.”

For Sturm, being able to make the difference in one person’s life is what it is all about. “If we are able to assist one person to make choices that enables them to not return, it can change the trajectory of several lives.”

Thank you to all our teachers!