Educator of the Year – Special Education and Inner City
Funded by the Maginn Family Foundation
Mike Jensen, Sacred Heart School, Omaha
Mike Jensen’s heart is first and foremost with his students. He continually strives to support his school’s diverse community with a higher poverty rate who often endure countless hardships that profoundly impact students. He co-chairs the diversity and equity committee for the Archdiocese of Omaha and is working in partnership with others to undo racism. Mike has developed a network of connections to ensure that his students and their families get access to social services and support. Since he has been principal, he has reached out to local north Omaha organizations and businesses, hosted cultural evenings and reinvigorated the school’s Parent Advisory Council.
Alisa Parmer’s four children attended Sacred Heart and she said Mike’s influence and support for her family were a lifeline during years of ups and downs with her children along with family struggles. “Mr. Jensen became superhuman to us. He showed my family, and especially our boys, it was okay to give and get hugs. He showed us it was okay to cry together and pray together and through Christ all things are possible,” she said.
Mike started at Sacred Heart in 2007 teaching third grade. He then moved to assistant principal and now is in his sixth year as principal. In addition to working long hours as principal, Mike finds time to coach the school’s robotics team that practices after school and attends meets on weekends.
“I am blessed to have an amazing opportunity to serve our families alongside the North Omaha Community. It is my hope that our school and community has impacted our students by teaching God’s love, kindness, and excellence the best that we can,” said Mike. “It is my deepest hope that our students will become strong productive citizens with faithful hearts who will lead and continue to develop our community and our world.”
Mike has a bachelor’s in elementary education from Briar Cliff University and a master’s in elementary school administration from Creighton University. He and his wife, Ashley, have twin daughters, Anna and Ava. Mike enjoys spending time with his family and dog, Herbie, camping and cheering for Husker football.