— January 26 , 2023
[Testimony in support of LB188 Veteran Teacher Certification]
January 20, 2023
My name is Kevin Naumann, and I’m speaking to you today as a Catholic School administrator in the city of Lincoln, a former educator in Lincoln Public Schools, and as a retired member of the Nebraska Air National Guard. I am the proud father of four sons, three of which have served or are serving in the 155th ARW themselves.
I am speaking to you in support of Legislative Bill 188, that would allow honorably discharged veterans who feel they may be called to the mission of education to make that transition and gain experience in the classroom under the watch of a mentor teacher, on an expedited basis, based on their faithful service to our country, and recognizing the discipline, patriotism, and work ethic that are instilled in them during their service.
First, from a personal perspective, I was fortunate to both serve my unit and serve my school district, in tandem, for 23 years. I felt there was much reciprocity that occurred between these professions, and that the experiences and expectations of one did much to serve the requirements and demands of the other. While LB188 does not require a principal like me to hire a Veteran, I am confident that the skills and experiences of these Veterans will make them attractive candidates.
Next, from a global perspective, as you may be aware, the number of teacher candidates each spring has dwindled. Having been in education for 34 years as teacher and administrator, I am concerned. Last year we had to start the search process earlier and go later, and have many more interviews to fill the same few positions, than in years past. As in many fields and professions, there has been a definite shift in supply and demand in the teacher market. In short, I believe that any initiative considered by this body that would serve to increase that stream of interested professionals into the classroom, at the service of our students, would be one worth careful consideration and prayerful discernment.
I wouldn’t trade my time of service as Wing Chaplain Assistant for the 155th Air Refueling Wing, my tenure in Sedalia #200 Schools, Lincoln Public Schools, or now, with the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, for anything. I entreat you to consider providing potential separating/retiring members of the armed forces, the possibility of accelerated service to our state, nation and children, as well.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
St. Joseph School