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PLATTSMOUTH – Kelli Henry has been a beacon of hope to many students at Plattsmouth Community Middle School during her time with the district.

Plattsmouth Harvest Festival officials directed the spotlight on Henry Saturday night with a major award in front of hundreds of people.

Henry received the Lucille McLean Teachers Award on the grand stage located on Main Street. Members of the Gamma Chapter of the Alpha Delta Kappa women educators program select one teacher from the Cass County area to receive the honor each year. The award is presented in memory of Lucille Essert McLean, who was a longtime teacher in Cass County and a charter member of ADK.

Officials choose teachers based on their overall level of contributions to the youth of Cass County. Plattsmouth Harvest Festival volunteer and former Plattsmouth teacher Sharon Smith said many community members respected Henry for her work. Smith said that was especially evident within the school district.

“Her co-workers at Plattsmouth Community Middle School say they are enriched by her presence there,” Smith said.

Henry currently administers the Read 180 program at PCMS and is a fifth-grade special education teacher. She is also chairperson of the entire PCMS special education department. She works with district officials and fellow teachers to develop individualized education programs (IEPs) for many Plattsmouth students with special needs. She implements IEPs in her classroom throughout the year and helps co-workers who have questions about the IEP process for their students.

“She is an integral part of the school community,” Smith said.

Henry has been involved in a variety of volunteer activities throughout Plattsmouth as well. She has donated time to the Happy Paws animal rescue program and has helped raise money for local firefighters. She has also encouraged students to participate in community service activities and fund-raisers.

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