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O-pa Spotlight: Local stars honored

Posted On Dec 9, 2020, 12:43 PM by Dara Hogan

Thank you to our community members who nominated their friends, family, and coworkers for Broadway Across America and Omaha Performing Arts Nominate a Star campaign. We received many inspiring nominations of local stars, from teachers to first responders, who have gone above and beyond for the community. Our winners will receive tickets to an upcoming show when Broadway returns to the Orpheum Theater! We are thrilled to announce the winners and their stories below:

Winner: Laurie States

Laurie States

Nomination Submission: Laurie is a math teacher at Omaha Street School. She embodies the school's mission of empowering at-risk students to find success. She always invents new ways of teaching, including hands-on experiments. She also makes each student feel loved and special by baking them the gourmet cake or dessert of their choosing on their birthdays. I love the way she celebrates her students, and I know she is making a big difference in our community.

Winner: Katie McAllister

Katie McAllister 

Nomination Submission: Katie is a second-grade teacher who has put so much love and support into returning to the classroom for her kids. Her positivity throughout the pandemic is palpable. Her students and parents are so lucky to have her.

Michael Swanson

Michael Photo w Daughter

Nomination Submission: Mike is a first responder who continually gives to his community. The safety and wellbeing of all guides his daily actions. His sense of humor diffuses most situations. Mike is devoted to his family, is an avid sports enthusiast, and lover of musicals. He deserves a little rest and relaxation during this stressful time.


Winner: Laura Tvrdy
Laura Tvrdy Photo

Nomination Submission: Laura is a para at Raymond Central Public Schools in Valparaiso, NE. She is able to support students in every situation, regardless of their grade or needs. During remote learning, she set up Zoom meetings with students, led virtual study groups, and aided in class Zoom meetings. She is always willing to help out in any way she can and puts her whole heart into her job and students. I am honored to work with her.