Getting Pepped at 2018 Recognition Event

The annual TeamMates Recognition Event took place on February 8th, 2018 at Lincoln Station in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket. The event honored mentors, mentees, and program facilitators’ commitment to mentoring and hard work throughout the year. The UNL Big Red Express Pep Band kicked off the event with “Hail Varsity” to get the over four hundred guests in the spirit of the evening.

Carmen and Tony Messineo Community Involvement Award

This year, TeamMates honored Tim and Amy Clare with the Carmen and Tony Messineo Community Involvement Award for their support of Lincoln TeamMates through advocacy, fundraising assistance, and raising awareness around mentoring. Tim Clare was present to accept the award and took the opportunity to reflect on the importance of mentors in the lives of youth.

Decade of Difference Award

The Decade of Difference Award is presented to mentors upon their 10th anniversary as a TeamMates mentor. This award represents far more than a number; it shows commitment, dedication, selfless giving, and care for the youth they have mentored. This year’s award winners included:

Barb Gaither

Kendy Konecky

Nathan Lowry


Kathleen Nelson

Marc Shoemaker


Mentor Hall of Fame

A mentor is nominated to the Hall of Fame by his or her mentee, by school staff, or by a parent, to recognize the mentor’s weekly contribution of time and the way in which they have led positive change in the life of the student they mentor. Mentors must have been meeting with their mentees for at least three years, and they must exemplify outstanding mentor qualities to be eligible for this recognition. This year’s inductees were:

Doug Badje

Diane Carlson

Judy Faubel

Sue Guild

Jon Hanseling

Brent Kalemkiarian


Terry Klopfenstein

Tyler Niday

Genene Nolte

Dee Oltman

Gary Reber

Steven Timmons

Student Achievement Award

The Student Achievement Award is given to mentees who have been nominated by their mentors for their effort to achieve their full potential as evidenced by better attendance, improved grades, or decreased discipline referrals. These students have been meeting with their current mentors for three or more years. This year’s award winners included:

Da’Lana B.

Savannah B.

Tania C.

Trenton M.


Alexis M.

Savanna L.

Mikayla Z.

Facilitator of Excellence Award

The Facilitator Award of Excellence is given to an individual who has consistently done an exceptional job of overseeing the program at their school. This award was introduced in 2015 with Judi Yost from Dawes Middle School as the inaugural winner. The last two years we were pleased to celebrate Megan Kroll, former facilitator at North Star High School, and Judi Wittwer of Zeman Elementary. These recipients are true TeamMates legends and champions of the TeamMates program and of the matches under their guidance. Because 2018 was truly an exceptional year with exceptional facilitators, we decided to do something we’ve never done before, and may not do again, by honoring three facilitators with the Facilitator of the Year Award:

Lisa Kiely – Lincoln High School

Cherri Parent – Saratoga Elementary

Susan Volker – Kooser Elementary

NFL linebacker, Will Compton, addressing guests at Lincoln TeamMates’ 2018 Recognition Event.

The master of ceremonies, Froggy 98’s morning show co-host, Nelson, kept everyone entertained with his quick wit and enthusiasm throughout the ceremony.

NFL linebacker and former Husker, Will Compton, capped-off the evening with a keynote speech discussing how he has sought to create his own destiny along the path to reaching his full potential. Another former Husker, Kenny Bell, attended in support of the program. Both NFL players stayed after to give autographs and take pictures with students and fans.

Watch the full video from the 2018 Recognition Event.

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