Strengthening Democracy: Cory Epler

Cory Epler is our 2021 Outstanding Administrator.


Each year, Civic Nebraska’s Strengthening Democracy Awards recognize Nebraskans whose work embodies the spirit of a modern, robust democracy. Among our 2021 honorees are educators, administrators, students, and everyday Nebraskans. We’ll officially honor the winners on April 29, but before then, here’s a chance to learn a bit more about what makes them special. 

Civic Nebraska honors Cory Epler as its 2021 Outstanding Administrator for his support of the educational standards in our state’s public schools.

As the state department of education’s chief academic officer, Epler provides strategic leadership, support, and coordination of activities, resources, and programs related to teaching and learning, assessment, and adult program services in order to support Nebraska’s School Accountability System and continuous school improvement. He was nominated by Civic Nebraska’s Julie Ward.

Epler’s work during the past year – as the state worked to support teachers in identifying and emphasizing what content was essential for students to know and do after an extended stretch of interruptions and virtual learning – was crucial to keeping schools on track, Ward said.

Most of all, Epler’s impact on the quality of our state’s public education system includes guidance that Nebraska students should be able to learn about civic participation through questioning, communicating, evaluating, and applying.

“Cory is an unsung hero for public education in the state of Nebraska,” Ward said. “He helped direct the standards to identify patriotic symbols, songs, actions, celebrations, and holidays, but also to learn about the history behind those holidays. This includes the roles that different cultures played in our community and our nation.”

Congratulations to Cory Epler, Civic Nebraska’s 2021 Outstanding Administrator!

Meet Cory Epler and his fellow honorees on April 29 at Civic Nebraska’s Strengthening Democracy Awards. RSVP now, and we’ll send you the Zoom access link April 28, the day before the big event!

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