School Board President Patty Bentzinger Honored at State Education Conference

School Board President Patty Bentzinger Honored at State Education Conference

Friday, November 22, 2013

Long-serving Norris Board of Education President Patty Bentzinger has been named this year's Ann Mactier Leadership for Learning honoree.  The distinction is the highest individual award reserved for a Nebraska school board member and is bestowed on one public school board member annually statewide, recognizing the individual for their policy leadership and contributions to curriculum and instruction in Nebraska public schools.


President Bentzinger was presented the award by Nebraska Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Brian Halstead at Thursday’s general session luncheon banquet at the Nebraska State Education conference, attended by about 2,000 local and state education officials and school board members representing Nebraska’s nearly 250 districts.


Mrs. Bentzinger thanked administrators, credited the instructional leadership of teachers, and shared gratitude towards her colleagues on the Board during her acceptance speech.  She celebrated the prominent role student representatives have at Norris Board meetings, and thanked current student leader delegates Jacob Lambert and Kyle Flodman, who were at the banquet to celebrate with the Board.  


Mrs. Bentzinger has held every Norris Board office over 21 years and has been President of the Board the last 17. She is a member of the ALICAP Board of Trustees and has served on the NASB Board of Directors at the state level.  During her tenure with the Board of Education, the district has more than doubled in student enrollment, added nearly $50 million in campus infrastructure to serve students and the community, and consistently attained one of the top achievement profiles among Nebraska schools.  Mrs. Bentzinger has been instrumental in the incorporation of regular updates to the Board on all facets of the instructional program and the Board’s integration of student panelists as a regular feature of Board meetings. Mrs. Bentzinger is a Registered Nurse by training and continues to volunteer in other capacities in the community in addition to her Board service.  A graduate of Hickman High, Mrs. Bentzinger has had children and grandchildren graduate from the Norris system.  She and her husband Gary farm outside of Hickman.