Posted 11 months ago

By Post Staff

Dora OlivaresGov. Dave Heineman has made seventeen appointments  to the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, including Gering Junior High Principal Dora Olivares and former Alliance Public School teacher Becky Herian. The 150th  anniversary of Nebraska’s Statehood will occur on March 1, 2017.

The Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission will develop programs and plans for the official observance of the 150th anniversary of Nebraska statehood in 2017. The commission will work closely with various state agencies, boards, commissions, and political subdivision to plan commemorative events and to implement educational activities.

Several state entities will be involved in the planning, including the State Department of Education, the Department of Roads, the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Nebraska State Fair Board, the Game and Parks Commission, and the Nebraska Tourism Commission. The Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission may also seek the guidance and support of any other groups or organizations the commission deems necessary or helpful in fulfilling its purpose.

Commission membership is made up of leaders representing all regions of Nebraska from a diverse array of industries. Members will select a chairperson and a vice-chairperson.

A list of the appointees with a brief biography is below.


Becky Herian (Alliance) – Former teacher at Alliance Public Schools.

Barbara Batie (Lexington) – Farmer and freelance journalist specializing in agriculture.

Ann Olsen Bird (Omaha) – Speech & language pathologist, special education consultant for Nebraska Department of Education.

Denise Christensen (Kearney) – Executive Director, Merryman Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Sara Crook (Peru) – History/Political Science Professor, Peru State College.

Nancy Faber (Elkhorn) – Former principal, Omaha South Magnet School.

Deanna Frankforter (Grand Island) – Community leader and volunteer.

John Gale (Lincoln) – Secretary of State.

Christi Janssen (Omaha) – Executive Director at the Durham Museum.

Donna Kush (Omaha) – Vice President of Public Affairs-Northern Region at Union Pacific Railroad.

Frank LaMere (South Sioux City) – Native American community leader.

Jamesena Grimes Moore (Bellevue) – Former Vice-President of United Way.

Dora Olivares (Gering) – Gering Junior High School principal.

Marty Ramirez (Lincoln) – Retired psychologist and Latino community leader.

Dr. John L. Strope, Jr. (Lincoln) – Retired college professor in education administration and law.

Leann Widhalm (Norfolk) – Special education teacher, Norfolk Junior High School.

John F. Zimmer, V (Lincoln) – University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law student.