Q&A with an inspiring woman: Dr. Vann Price
AP

Q&A with an inspiring woman: Dr. Vann Price

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• Supervisor of Secondary Personnel Services at the LPS District Office.

• Lincoln YMCA Board member, 2017-present.

• Lincoln Food Bank Board member, 2016-present.

• Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools Board member, 2019-present.

• Lincoln Community Foundation Board member, 2004-present.

• Lincoln Association of Fitness Professionals member, 1997-present.

• Fitness Instructor, Lincoln YMCA, 1994-present.

• Board of Directors, Stephenson’s School Supply Co., 1996.

• Board of Directors, Lincoln YWCA, 1993-1997.

• Youth Church Director, All Nations Church, Lincoln, 1989-present.

• Sunday School Superintendent, All Nations Church, Lincoln, NE 1986-present.

Who has inspired you?

So many people have inspired me including my mother and maternal grandmother. Both had the courage to step out on faith to make a better life for their children. Both of these strong pillars instilled in me the importance of trusting God and getting an education. I owe my strong-willed personality and determination to them, as they never gave up despite the many struggles.

Whom do you hope to inspire?

E.E. Cummings reminded us that “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” I have always hoped to inspire my family first and foremost. Growing up with three brothers, it was always important to me that they were confident in themselves and their ability to craft a life that they enjoy. I’m convinced that believing in ourselves is the first step in affecting our destiny. As an educator, it was always essential that I help students believe in themselves.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means allowing others to operate in their gifts for the good of the whole. It’s being skilled enough to recognize how much you need others and cultivating the gifts that they bring to the team. Leaders know how to tap into the talent of others, providing them continuous opportunities to develop and flourish. A community can only meet the needs of all entrusted to their care when the leadership appreciates the talent that surrounds him or her.

What is your favorite quote or motto?

Coco Chanel reminds us to "Keep your heels, head and standards high.” For me, it means always look your best, exude confidence, and accept only the best from yourself and those who surround you.

How would you describe a great day at work?

I’m fortunate to have the responsibility of recruiting and hiring caring, committed teachers for our district. A great day is being able to share my passion for students and learning with potential employees, and landing those individuals who fit the mission and vision of our district. A great day is also being able to support building principals, and it is always my goal to make their lives a little bit easier whenever I can. Sometimes this can be as simple as providing them with a listening ear, a resource to share with a staff member in need, or calling them back when they need a quick answer.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, and who gave it to you?

My mother always told me to put God first and always be willing to work hard. She told me to stay in school and I could write my own ticket. I have never regretted acting upon these wise words instilled in me from a young age.

What’s the highlight of your career (so far)?

Each rung of my career has been the next phase of me delving into the intricacies of public education in Lincoln. I will always cherish the opportunities that I had to open three brand new schools in this community. Few have been fortunate enough to be involved in opening two new elementary schools and then capping it off by being an administrator at a new high school within their educational career. I enjoyed each of these experiences and would say that the highlight may have been being the principal of North Star High School. Being able to make decisions that affected the lives of so many students was both rewarding and at times scary, because I knew we had to get it right. I was surrounded by a top-notch staff that would do anything for kids, and we knew it was an honor and a privilege to impact the lives of so many scholars.

How have you changed over the course of your career?

I’ve learned to be humble and accept others for who they are without exception. If everyone remembered to live as children do when they first arrive – it’s what we hardened souls call genuine acceptance – we’d transform the planet. Being fortunate enough to know and have worked with a diversity of students and families has enriched my life in ways that cause me to be exceedingly honored and grateful.

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