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Teacher of the Month-Abby Rezak group

From left are Jackie Pribyl, U.S. Bank; Abby Rezac, teacher; Wayne Casper, chairman of the Lincoln East Rotary Club Teacher of the Month committee; and Kristine Placek, principal of St. Patrick Catholic School.

Abby Rezac’s teaching cohorts say she teaches a very challenging class of first-graders at St. Patrick Catholic School. She works with students who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and anxiety. And it’s the largest class in the school.

“Abby’s biggest concern is always the success of the students in her classroom – academically, socially and emotionally,” says Sarah Swim, third-grade teacher at St. Pat’s. “She spends countless hours finding additional resources and making extra aids to enhance her students’ learning experiences. I can honestly say that she pours her whole heart and soul into her job every day.”

For her efforts, Rezac has been named Teacher of the Month by the Lincoln East Rotary Club and U.S. Bank.

“She works tirelessly to prepare her students for second grade, often staying late to keep up with the demands of teaching,” says Diane Neujahr, fourth-grade teacher at St. Pat’s. “She has a great sense of humor and always finds the positive in difficult situations. She shows great patience as she teaches her 23 first-graders how to walk in the hallways, how to read books and how to treat others with respect.”

Beyond the classroom, Rezac gives generously of her time to benefit all students at St. Pat’s School, says Neujahr.

“Whether it’s planning lessons, organizing field trips or planning activities for school events, Abby is always willing to help,” Neujahr says. During the past several years, Rezac has helped with the Girls on the Run program and served on the school’s strategic planning and learning fair committees.

A lifelong Lincolnite, Rezac attended Fredstrom Elementary School, Goodrich Middle School and Lincoln High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Her first teaching job was as a math and reading interventionist at Hill Elementary School in 2009-10. She also was a substitute teacher for Lincoln Public Schools and the Lincoln Catholic Diocese before being hired at St. Pat’s in 2011.

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“My calling to become a teacher was instilled in me at a young age, growing up around kids, as my mom was an in-home daycare provider,” Rezac explains. “I have always had an affinity for children, finding fulfillment in their excitement when they learn a new skill, develop new relationships and grow in their faith.

“My students are the most important aspect of my career, and although it’s my job to be the best teacher I can be, they are the ones that teach me each and every day.”

Abby and her husband, Ryan, enjoy spending time with their two bulldogs, Jax and Tallulah.

She received $100 each from East Rotary and U.S. Bank, with one of the awards covering the purchase of classroom materials and the other award for her personal use.

Lincoln East Rotary Club is starting its 17th year of offering the Teacher of the Month program. The club and co-sponsor U.S. Bank have recognized 140 teachers and awarded $28,000 to teachers for personal use and classroom supplies. Rotarian Wayne Casper has served as program chairman for the past 16 years.

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L Magazine editor

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