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December 09, 2021

Amy Schmidtke Named Director of Professional Learning at Buffett Institute

Veteran Educator Has Served in a Variety of Roles at the Institute

Omaha, Neb. — The Buffett Institute at the University of Nebraska has appointed Amy Schmidtke as director of Professional Learning. 
This position fulfills an integrative role at the Institute, working with those who are conceptualizing and leading systemic approaches to reducing achievement and opportunity gaps in early learning and education settings, birth through Grade 3; blending knowledge and experience from the research, program, and early childhood workforce units of the Institute; and disseminating this information to a wide range of audiences. 

Schmidtke will oversee implementation of strategic professional learning initiatives to increase the capacity of Nebraska’s early care and education workforce, including the Professional Development for All component of the Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan.

Schmidtke has been a major contributor to the Institute’s work since 2016, first as an educational facilitator for the Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan, then as a program specialist with the program development and professional learning teams and most recently as associate director of professional learning. 

She brings more than two decades of experience as an early childhood teacher and coach, spent 18 years with Omaha Public Schools, and is an adjunct instructor in early childhood education in the Teacher Education Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has an Ed.D. in educational administration from UNO, where she also earned a master’s degree in education with endorsements in early childhood education and English as a second language, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
“All these experiences, as well as Amy’s demonstrated leadership abilities, make her an outstanding choice for director of Professional Learning,” said Samuel J. Meisels, founding executive director of the Buffett Institute. “Amy’s vision, strategic thinking, and optimistic outlook have allowed her to increase collaboration and learning across units at the Institute and beyond, and I am excited to see what she will accomplish in her new role.”

“I am thrilled to take on the role of director of Professional Learning at the Institute,” Schmidtke said. “I am excited to work with my talented colleagues at the Institute and many partners across the state to develop professional learning experiences of the highest quality. I have a deep passion for designing and facilitating learning for educators that promotes self-efficacy, collaboration, and innovation so they have what they need to develop learning experiences for young children that are of the highest quality.”

She began her new duties at the Institute on Nov. 15.

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