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Tom Pantera | Johnson Publications
NSEA vice-president Robert Miller and president Jenni Benson toured the school in Wauneta last week where Miller grew up followed by a stop in Imperial. 

NSEA reps visit Imperial, Wauneta in fall tour of Nebraska school districts

At the beginning of each school year, the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA) executive team travels across the state to talk with teachers, media and other representatives of the school districts about education issues that may be impacting them, said Robert Miller, vice-president of NSEA.
Miller and NSEA president, Jenni Benson, decided to take a southwest Nebraska loop, making stops in a number of towns to meet with members, locals and media.
Imperial and Wauneta were two of their stops in this area.
NSEA is a member-directed professional union representing 28,000 public school teachers, higher education faculty and other education professionals across the state. It is headquartered in Lincoln.
“Our goal is to promote our public schools and the value our communities place on their schools,” Benson said.
“NSEA’s mission is to ensure all children and families have opportunities for success no matter their geographic location or the diversity of needs,” she added.
Benson explained that NSEA has the same role for big or small schools—to make sure educators are prepared to provide the best education possible.
Benson and Miller discussed several topics rural school districts are facing including protocols for COVID-19 issues, Benson said.
“Safety and security for teachers and students are our  top priority regardless of the source of the threat,” she said.
“We want kids in school but safe.”
Each local district is unique yet faces similar needs to those across Nebraska, Miller said.
“We want to let our members know they have a collective voice with NSEA, and there are resources available for students and teachers within the NSEA,” he continued.
“Together, we all continue to make a difference in the life of a child,” he added.
Benson said they try to look at the big picture and then narrow it down to specific areas.
What works for eastern Nebraska may not work for western Nebraska, so they have to stay on top of current mandates per location, said Miller.
NSEA promotes the belief that students need the same resources and opportunities in rural schools as in big schools.
“We are always focusing on how state legislation affects smaller schools,” said Benson.
COVID-specific challenges
With required changes in safety procedures, remote learning and safety precautions

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