‘She isn’t just a teacher, she’s a great friend.’

By Nikki McKim

It’s often said that a great teacher can change a student’s life. Each day we read stories of teachers who become influential role models for developing students. Based on the nomination letter submitted to the Jaycee’s, Lori Rech has done just that. She is described as “going above and beyond” for her students and the school’s expectations of her.

Lori Rech always wanted to be a teacher following in the footsteps of her mother and two aunts. Rech fondly remembers, “playing teacher” as a child. Her mother had quit teaching before she was born but kept many of her teaching materials, leaving Rech’s imagination to run wild and prepare her for her future career.

After attending Kearney State College, becoming a history major, Lori went on to earn her Masters degree and Doctorate to teach at the college level. After being accepted at Northeastern University in Boston she realized her heart was in high school teaching and not college teaching. 

Lori has been teaching for 30 years now, 16 of those years she’s spent at Falls City Public. In her spare time she is active with National History teachers groups such as the Bill Of Rights Institute, Liberty Fund, Ashbrook University and Gilder Lehrman Group. These groups proved training and seminars for teaching. “I have such a passion for history and the teaching of it, I simply can’t imagine doing anything else,” Rech said. Her teaching style isn’t always textbook. Last year she was introduced to a new idea of teaching History. Instead of the facts and ideas, she now tries to get her students to think like historians.  She says “The textbook is a resource but there is history all around us, and I want my students to think historically and to make good decisions as citizens of our great nation!” 

Mrs. Rech has shown what it takes to be a great teacher. She often takes time to help her students on an individual level. Behind each successful individual is a teacher who has pushed them to be their best and many who pass through the halls of Falls City Public School consider Mrs. Rech to be that teacher. The one who has pushed them to be the best person they can be. According to one of her current students, Lane Lovenburg, Rech is “the greatest teacher I have ever had. She isn’t just a teacher, she’s a great friend.”

It doesn’t stop with the students; Rech also does what she can for the parents of the students she teaches. She’s often there to encourage the parents and let them know how proud they should be of their child. In the nomination letter, Donna Lovenburg says that what Mrs. Rech does “is nothing short of greatness.” 

Rech currently teaches at Falls City High and also teaches duel credit courses to high school juniors for college credit. She was also able to teach some off campus courses for Peru State College. Rech resides in Falls City with her husband Randy who is also a teacher at Falls City Public and has three children and two grandchildren. 

Great educators connect with their pupils and reach them on many different levels, Mrs. Rech has done just. Her passion for her students and her teaching makes it clear why she was chosen as the Jaycee’s Educator of the year.

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