Omaha, Neb. — The Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska has named an associate director of program development to help lead early childhood initiatives in metro Omaha and across the state.
Kim Bodensteiner comes to the Buffett Institute from Bellevue Public Schools, where she has served as executive director of teaching and learning since 2012.
As associate director, Bodensteiner will work closely with Christine Maxwell, director of program development for the Buffett Institute, to design and facilitate state and local initiatives to build capacity for comprehensive, systemic approaches to early childhood education and services, birth through third grade.
Efforts will focus on developing innovative strategies to strengthen early childhood leadership among educational administrators in schools and communities, along with technical assistance for strategic early childhood planning and systems development. Bodensteiner will collaborate actively with state and local agencies and organizations.
“Kim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position,” Maxwell said. “We are fortunate to gain a colleague with this hard-to-find combination of expertise in both educational leadership and early childhood development.”
“Gaps in achievement and opportunity begin long before our children enter elementary schools,” Bodensteiner said. “The way to reduce those gaps is to start early. I believe the work underway at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute will make a substantive difference. I am excited to be part of these efforts to build a birth through Grade 3 approach, knitting together our existing resources and thoughtfully bringing in new resources to help ensure our youngest children start early and well.”
Bodensteiner, who brings more than 30 years of experience in education, earlier spent 12 years in Lawrence (Kansas) Public Schools, first as an elementary school principal, then as chief academic officer responsible for all teaching and learning divisions in the school district. She also served in leadership roles at Three Lakes Educational Cooperative in Lyndon, Kansas, and in the Newton (Kansas) school district. She was a coordinator and instructor in special education and developmental disabilities at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kansas, and coordinated staff development and implementation of inclusive education programs and provided statewide professional development and technical assistance while at the southeast Kansas Education Service Center in Girard, Kansas.
Bodensteiner earned a bachelor of science degree in human development and elementary education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, completed graduate work in child development at Iowa State University, and earned a master of science in special education from Pittsburg (Kansas) State University and an administrator certification from the University of Kansas.
Bodensteiner will begin work at the Institute on July 15.