Janey Sommers is a skilled professional with impeccable ethics. Her award winning drama program at Papillion La Vista High School set the stage for hundreds of future drama students. Sommers began her PLHS career in 1977 directing plays on the stage in the gym. With enthusiastic drama and music departments and lots of community support, the addition of the new auditorium became a reality in 1986. 

The skills Sommers taught allowed students to grow comfortable speaking and performing in front of audiences. She assigned students multiple positions in shows to give them a chance to develop leadership and performance skills. The installation of PLHS chapter of International Thespian Society in 1980 provided additional leadership opportunities.

Sommers’ program represented the school with distinction. Her one-act plays qualified for nine state tournaments, bringing home two championships and three runner-up trophies. Six students received “Outstanding Performer” state honors. Every year, Sommers and her students attended the International Thespian Festival. Sommers encouraged her students to audition for scholarship opportunities, with many receiving scholarships.

In 1994 Sommers was named Papillion La Vista Secondary Teacher of the Year. After sixteen years in drama, Sommers continued her career in the PLHS English department. She worked with the department to elevate state writing scores and rework the curriculum. She retired in 2009 and continues to stay connected to the community subbing and teaching acting workshops.

Sommers graduated from Columbus High School in 1971 and from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1975. She received her Master’s in Education with an emphasis in directing at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Gala 2017 celebrates the outstanding education in Papillion La Vista Community Schools. Proceeds from Gala 2017 will support additional educational opportunities for Papillion La Vista students that otherwise would not be possible, such as 6th Grade Outdoor Education, the Elementary Arts Program, Scholarships for Graduating Seniors and more. Gala serves as an occasion to publicly recognize new Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni, Legendary Educators, and Community Boosters.

Register for or donate to Gala 2017 here.

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