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New Trinity director loves her job | Education

LaVonna Emanuel smiles as she tells the story.

Her mother was a first grade teacher at Wakefield Elementary School, when she was trying to get students on a bus.

It was then that a little boy turned around and asked, “Mrs. Sharp, do you have a job? »

“I think it’s funny,” Emanuel said. “Apparently she didn’t pass it off as work.”

Years later, Emanuel definitely has a job as the new principal of Trinity Lutheran School in Fremont.

Now in her 28th year in education – the last 21 of which she has spent in administration – Emanuel is enjoying this final opportunity as she gets to know students, teachers, staff and parents.

Originally from Wayne, Emanuel went to Wayne State College where she met her husband, Doug, and they married in 1986. After graduating from college, they moved to North Bend where she was a stay-at-home mom for several years. children, Katie and Luke.

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Once her children were in school, she began teaching English full time and coached volleyball at Fremont High School. She left in 2002 to take up the position of Assessment Coordinator at Lincoln Northeast High School.

The Emanuels moved to South Falls, South Dakota, where she served as vice-principal at Washington High School for seven years.

For another five years, she served as principal of Axtell Park Middle School and then George McGovern Middle School.

“We used to call it ‘The Gov,'” she said.

He was asked to open the McGovern School, which was new at the time.

“I was very happy to be able to do this,” Emanuel said.

In 2016, the Emanuels moved back to Nebraska and she became principal of Fremont Middle School. She served there for six years.

Emanuel thought she would like to teach at the college level, working with students who want to become teachers.

In May, she received a call from Trinity, asking her to visit the school.

She had been in the sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran School, but had not been in the school part of the building at 16th Street and Luther Road.

Emanuel was impressed, especially by the students.

“They have bright eyes and they’re not afraid to hold a conversation with an adult and it’s not an easy skill, so I was very, very impressed with the quality of the students here,” he said. she declared.

Emanuel was interviewed at school and then got a call asking about his education.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Wayne State College, a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership from Doane College, and an Education Specialist Diploma from Wayne.

Emanuel offered her the job, which she accepted.

“I’ve always been a fan of a public school, but I’ve never really spent any time in the private sector in a parochial setting,” she said. “What I’ve noticed is the ability I have to really provide a personalized experience for the families and children we serve.”

Because the K-8 school is smaller with 121 students and 12 teachers, it can have multiple contact with children each day.

“I can greet the students every morning at the door. You can’t do that in a big public building,” she said.

Emanuel already knows most of the Trinity student names.

“I like getting to know people on a bit deeper level – who their parents are, what color they like and what they like to do at recess and who their friends are,” she said.

She also appreciates the opportunity to get to know the staff.

“I feel like we have multiple opportunities to build relationships with each other,” Emanuel said.

She and the staff meet for a devotional for about 10 minutes each morning.

“There are also opportunities to get to know and touch each other. In the afternoon, we go out to say “goodbye” to the students, and these are also opportunities to meet and greet the parents and also to build this relationship with my teachers. It’s very good,” she said.

In addition to interacting with students, staff and parents, Emanuel is Trinity’s Director of Curriculum. She also works on professional development, budget, and liaises with the Nebraska Department of Education.

“You have a lot of different hats, whereas in the public sector you don’t,” she said. “I like it. I like the curriculum and I like teaching and learning, so it’s very much in my lane.

No matter where she’s been – whether it’s Sioux Falls or Fremont Public Schools or Trinity – Emanuel has enjoyed working with people.

“I’m not the spreadsheet type,” she said. “I love to read. I love to write, but I really love interacting with people. Wherever I am, that’s the job for me.

She loves her job at Trinity.

“We laugh all day,” she said. “The children are very funny and endearing and charming. Whenever a whole bunch of people get together, things happen and it’s fun.

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