Ms. Kollars never asked much from others, but continually gave of herself. Her values of compassion spanned across all aspects of her life - especially at home and in school. She truly made an impact on many students and adults over the course of her 26 years at Papillion-La Vista High School.
As a high school psychology teacher, Ms. Kollars used engaging instructional activities in her classes. She didn’t just stand and lecture – she asked tough questions, engaged students in thoughtful conversation, and most of all, made learning fun. A former student wrote, “She challenged her students to go deep and then provided a safe environment for her students to explore what they discovered about themselves. I was touched by the amount of time Ms. Kollars spent reading our books that we worked on throughout the semester.” Lessons learned from the psychology book project continue to impact students years after graduation. Her lessons brought to life the concepts of psychology, instilling in students the desire to learn more, and for many, inspiring post-secondary education and careers in the field.
Outside the classroom, Ms. Kollars served as sponsor for activities including Mock Trial, National Honor Society, and Close-Up, a club that raised money to take a week-long trip to Washington D.C. to see the government at work.
She supported all facets of the school, always aware of things going on at PLHS. Ms. Kollars reached out to everyone, and in return, they reached out to her. She was an invaluable staff member who left an indelible imprint on that school, even in the way that she battled cancer. Ms. Kollars stayed in the classroom as long as her health would allow, continuing to teach while undergoing significant treatments. Her passion for education was an integral part of the Papillion La Vista community for many years.
Jessica Kollars accepted the Legendary Educator award on behalf of her mother, Kathy.
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