Dr. Jean A. Ochsner Lukesh
Class of 1968
Hall of Honor 2009
Dr. Jean A. Ochsner Lukesh began her career in education as an elementary Media Aide/Librarian for the Grand Island Public Schools. Taking night and summer classes, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kearney State College, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle School Education, with endorsements in Social Sciences, Language Arts, K-12 Educational Media, and later adding a General Science endorsement. She taught science at Cedar Hollow School for one year before being rehired by the Grand Island Public Schools as a Media/Integration Specialist and later as a History Teacher.
She then graduated from the University of Nebraska-Kearney with both a Masters in Education-English and a Masters in Education-History and received a Certificate from Denver University Publishing Institute. In 2006, she retired from the Grand Island Public Schools. In 2008, she graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Doctorate in Education, in Teaching, Curriculum, and Instruction, and received a UN-K Distinguished Alumni Award.
During her teaching years, she often gave statewide Nebraska history, library, and technology presentations; edited books for literacy; and participated in ground-breaking educational activities, such as the Nebraska Writing Project, the Nebraska SMILES program, and the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Teachers’ Advisory Council Workshop, the prototype for the Nebraska Institute. She helped write the Art and Technology Integration Grant with Grand Island Schools and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art. She served as a charter teacher with that project and the Community Discovered Grant Program and as a peer grant reader in the U.S. Department of Education’s first Teaching American History Grant Project.
Dr. Lukesh wrote The Nebraska Adventure, a Nebraska studies textbook for 4th grade (Gibbs Smith Co., c2004, c2005). It won a 2005 national award for textbook excellence, 2006 Nebraska Book Award, and 2006 Moonshell Arts and Humanities Council’s Literary Award. The Omaha World Herald reviewed the book, under the title “Pride in All Nebraskans.” Now used in a majority of Nebraska schools, the book still receives accolades from teachers, students, and history lovers. Dr. Lukesh also helped co-write the 150: A Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of Hall County (Nebraska) that won a 2008 Nebraska Book Award and 2008 Moonshell Arts and Humanities Council’s Literary Award.
Dr. Lukesh is currently writing and coordinating children’s biographies on notable Nebraskans to supplement curriculum and is writing other Nebraska-based books and magazine articles. She often serves as an educational consultant for various schools and institutions. Dr. Lukesh and her husband Ron (GISH Class of 1966) live in the sandhills north of Grand Island where they continue to love Nebraska. They have one son, Lance (GISH Class of 1987).