Omaha Public Schools Teacher Leader Academy


Special Opportunities for OPS Teachers

The NebraskaMATH Omaha Public Schools Teacher Leader Academy (OPS TLA) is a partnership between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Omaha Public Schools. The OPS TLA programs form a community of OPS mathematics teachers (grades K-12) dedicated to strengthening mathematics teaching and learning in OPS classrooms. OPS TLA was made possible through generous support from The Sherwood Foundation® and the Lozier Foundation in Omaha.

OPS TLA offers five outstanding graduate opportunities for OPS teachers:

  • New Teacher Network – An 18-credit hour graduate program, with tuition and fees paid by OPS TLA funds, for secondary mathematics teachers;
  • Primarily Math – An 18-credit hour graduate program, with tuition and fees paid by OPS TLA funds, for K-3 teachers leading to a K-3 mathematics specialist certificate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln;
  • ITEAM – An 18-credit hour graduate program, with tuition and fees paid by OPS TLA funds, for grades 4-6 teachers;
  • Math in the Middle – A 36-credit hour graduate program, with tuition and fees paid by OPS TLA funds, for grades 4-8 teachers leading to a Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and
  • Sherwood®-Lozier Fellowships to take NMSSI graduate courses – Graduate coursework for OPS K-12 mathematics teachers, with tuition and fees paid by OPS TLA funds.

Applications for the 2015 cohort of New Teacher Network and for taking courses this summer with a Sherwood-Lozier Fellowship are now open. Other OPS TLA programs are no longer accepting applications.

Online Courses

For those whose busy schedules require flexible scheduling in order to make taking graduate courses possible, the UNL Department of Mathematics offers mathematics courses for teachers online on a regular basis. This summer, the department will offer one course, as will Statistics and Teaching, Learning to Teacher Education: Math 808T: Concepts of Calculus, STAT 812T: Statistics for High School Teachers, and TEAC 892: Reasoning and Sensemaking. See the descriptions below. All three of these courses count toward the Master of Arts for Teachers degree.

Summer registration is now open. If you are interested in taking a course, we recommend registering for only one class per term. Because we would be covering your tuition, you will need to register before June 1, 2015. Please contact Lindsay Augustyn at with any questions.

MATH 808T: CONCEPTS OF CALCULUS, Class # 13774 - Develops a fundamental understanding of the key mathematical ideas of calculus in order to broaden teachers' mathematical perspective and gain insight into concepts contained in the middle-level curriculum which are related and foundational to the development of calculus. Topics include limits, differentiation, integration, applications and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

STAT 812T: STATISTICS FOR HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS, Class # 15458 - This course will cover the statistical concepts typically taught in a high school Statistics class. These include: linear regression, two-way tables, sampling distributions, statistical inference for means and proportions, chi-square tests, and inference for regression. Some experience with basic statistical concepts (mean, standard deviation, elementary probability) is necessary. The course will be inquiry-based, and will emphasize applications and statistical thinking. Software and calculators will be used for most analyses.

TEAC 892: REASONING AND SENSEMAKING, Class # 15452 - This course will focus on three main issues: exploring the nature of reasoning-and-proving in secondary mathematics; establishing criteria for judging the validity of mathematical arguments; and, developing strategies for modifying current textbook tasks to provide more reasoning opportunities for students. Course materials include math tasks, cases drawn from real secondary mathematics classrooms, related student work, and prompts for mathematical and pedagogical discussions and reflections. This is an excellent course to help secondary teachers make immediate improvements to their mathematics classrooms in order to better prepare students for the NeSA-M.

Who Has Taught OPS TLA Courses?

NebraskaMATH OPS Teacher Leader Academy courses (Primarily Math, ITEAM, Math in the Middle, New Teacher Network, and NMSSI courses offered in Omaha) are taught using an instructional team approach that ensures support is always available to the OPS teacher-participants in the courses. OPS teachers will learn from an instructional team that includes outstanding faculty who teach at UNL, UNO and other Nebraska colleges as well as many OPS Master Teachers. Past course instructors are listed here:

Program Course Lead Instructor Other Instructional Team Members
Primarily Math C1 Math 800P, 801P Kristie Pfabe Connie Colton, Tanya Archie, Mandy Farrage, Dianne Lee, Marni Driessen, Matt Timm
Math in the Middle C1 Math 800T Jim Lewis Janice Rech, Kesha King, Kyla Hall, Patty Hastings
Math in the Middle C1 Math 802T Brent Larson Katie Garcia, Jessica Korth, Paula Millerd
NMSSI 2013 Math 810T Greg Sand
NMSSI 2013 MATH 803P Jill Luschen
NMSSI 2013 MATH 804P Phil LaFleur
NMSSI 2013 Online MATH 808T Greg Sand
NMSSI 2013, 2014 Online Math 802T David Hartman
NMSSI 2013 Online TEAC 949A Ruth Heaton
Fall 2013 Math 810T Michelle Homp Annika Denkert
Spring 2014 Math 805T Annika Denkert Amber Vlasnik
Primarily Math C1 Math 802P Janice Rech Kesha King, Patty Hastings
Primarily Math C1 TEAC 907 Molly Williams Michelle Metzger, Kerri Kratina
Primarily Math C2 Math 800P, 801P Kristie Pfabe Connie Colton, Tanya Archie, Mandy Farrage, Suzanne Pike, Matt Timm
Math in the Middle C1 TEAC 801 Wendy Smith Paula Jakopovic, Jonelle Dickmeyer, Matt Timm
Math in the Middle C1 Math 806T Brent Larson Jason Lutz, Charles Tomlinson
Math in the Middle C1 STAT 811T Kendra Schmid Elizabeth Lyden, Lynette Smith, Tanya Archie, Brianna Pinquoch
Math in the Middle C2 Math 800T Angie Hodge Keri Witherell, Lisa Vavra, Kesha King
Math in the Middle C2 Math 802T Michael Matthews Katie Garcia, Jessica Korth, Amy Gordon
Math in the Middle C2 TEAC 801 Paula Jakopovic Phil LaFleur, Jessica Korth
NMSSI 2014 Math 803P Jill Luschen
NMSSI 2014 Math 804P Katie Garcia
NMSSI 2014 TEAC 890 Elizabeth Cunningham
NMSSI 2014 Online Math 807T Amy Nebesniak
NMSSI 2014 Online TEAC 949A Lorraine Males
Fall 2014 Math 810T Michelle Homp
Fall 2014 Math 811T Greg Sand
Spring 2015 Math 804T Lucinda Zmarzly
Spring 2015 Math 812T Christine Kelley
Spring 2015 TEAC 880E Chuck Friesen