NSBA Retirees

Dr. Carola Winkle - Chadron State College
Jack Fischer - Norfolk Public Schools
Dr. Dan Schmidt, from Hastings College

John Svagera - OPS Marrs Junior High for OPS 1972-1975, the elementaries for Bellevue Public Schools 1976-1977, then he taught 30 years at Papillion and LaVista Junior Highs 1977-2007.

Jerry Johnson - Ord High School (3 yr), Millard Public Schools for 32 years

Linda Donohue - 20 years as the director of the Gerald Otte-Blair Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Bands and 17 years in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Bryan Johnson - 38 years at Oakland-Craig Public Schools.

Kathy Dalby - Kathy is retiring after teaching for 28 years. Waverly High School 1991-2008

Roger Thaden

Mrs. Teresa Christensen -York Public Schools, Osceola Public Schools, Superior Public Schools

Richard Luhr - Osmond Community School, Osmond Community School from 1981 to Present.

Dr. Gary Davis - U.S. Navy from 1971-1974, . He taught at Cedar Bluff Public Schools, 1974-1976, Schuyler Central High School, 1977-1982, University of Iowa Graduate assistant, 1982-1983, Wayne State College, 1984-1990, and the University of Nebraska Kearney, 1990 to Present

Stanley Johnson - Trenton Public Schools, 1961-1966, Burwell Public Schools 1966-1968, Broken Bow Public Schools 1968-1972 and Shickley Public Schools 1996-2009.

Robert Jenkins - 1979, oboe in the Omaha Symphony and began tesching in Westside School System.

Keith Byrkit - Wausa Public Schools 1974 – 1985, Treynor, IA Public Schools 1985 – 1988 - Valentine Public Schools 1988 – 1990, and David City Public Schools from 1992 – 1993 and 2000 to present.

Ron Rickert - He has 32 years of teaching experience teaching at Malcolm Public Schools from Jan. 1979 to May of 1979, Sutton Public Schools from 1980 to 1987, Aurora Public Schools from 1987 to 1988, Geneva/Fillmore Central Public Schools from 1988 to 2006, York Public Schools from 2006 to 2010, and returned to Sutton for 2010 to 2011.

Ted Luebbem - Burwell Public Schools – 1974 to 1988, and Fairbury Public Schools 1988 to Present.

Joel Sunderman - Nebraska City Public Schools from 1982 to 2010, 2010, In 2010 he retired to Lincoln, where he was offered a position at the Information Technology Focus Program of Lincoln Public Schools teaching Digital Video, and Media, 3D Animation, and Mobile App Development, stating “It’s never too late to learn something new.

Scot Thompson - He taught at Tri County Public schools 1979-1989, Elkhorn High School 1989-1996, and Elkhorn Middle Schools 1996 to Present.

Roger Groth - His teaching experiences include: St. Bernards Junior High School, 1975 - Arbor Heights Junior High Band, Arbor Heights Elementary Band, Loveland Elementary Band, and Westgate Elementary Band all in the Westside Community Schools, 1975 – 1982, and Westisde High School Director of Bands 1982 to Present.

Larry Rathbun - He has taught in Odell, North Bend, Syracuse, Albion, Franklin, David City, Columbus and currently at Millard North.

Paul Ramp - Mr. Ramp has taught for 41 years, with 36 being in Nebraska. He taught at Fremont Mills in Tabor Iowa for 2 years, and Torrington Wyoming for 3 years, and in Nebraska he taught at Nemaha Valley, Auburn, McCook, Blair, Friend, and for the last 3 years has been at Litchfield.

Everett Fidler -. Mr. Fidler began his teaching career at Davenport in 1994, and then David City in 1998, and Adams Middle School in North Platt from 1999-2005. Mr. Fidler had to retire early due to health issues with his arthritis.

Debbie Jenkins - Mrs. Jenkins was able to spend her entire teaching career of 33 years with the Millard Public Schools.

Jim Schulz taught for 36 years, and retired in May of 2013 from Pound Middle School. His individual honors include: Outstanding young Man in America in 1988, LPS Gold Star award recipient twice at Dawes and Pound Middle School, NMEA music educator of the year in 2001, Recognized by SBO as one of 50 teachers who make a difference in 2003, Received the NSBA Distinguished Service award in 2008, and received the NMEA distinguished service award in 2011. Jim was a member of NSBA, NMEA, NAFME, Phi Beta Mu, and NEA. He was NMEA orchestra chair in 1986-87, NMEA middle level chairin 1995-96, and Jim was the NSBA middle level rep and also NSBA president in 2006-07.

Bill Kellett has taught for 33 years, and is retiring in May of 2014 from Papillion-La Vista South High School. During his career his bands have received numerous superior ratings and have traveled extensively to represent Nebraska. Performance highlights include a concert tour to Mexico in 1991, two Presidential Inaugural Parades in 1993 and 2001, and the London Millennium Parade and Concert on January 1, 2000. Bill is a member of NAfME, NSBA, NEA, and PLEA. In 1986, he received the Jack Snider Outstanding Young Band Director Award.

Randy Neuhearth taught for 40 years, and will retire in May of 2014 from Northeast Community College, where he has taught the past 13 years. His individual honors include: Nominated as Outstanding Rural Educator, Honorary Chapter FFA Degree, National Band Association – Citation of excellence in 2001 selected as a member of Phi Beta

David Young has taught a total of 51 years, and is retiring in May of 2014 from Lincoln Southeast High School. Dave’s individual honors are: NSBA Citation of excellence award 3 times, Bellevue Leader – Man of the year in 1989, Donald Lentz Outstanding Bandmaster Award in 1986, NMEA hall of fame in 1994, The College of Emporia Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. He taught at Chase Community HS in Cottowood Falls and Sedgwich high Schools in Kansas. In Nebrasksa he taught nine years at Schuyler and 23 years in Bellevue. He retired from Bellevue East in 2000 and then worked at Lincoln Southeast part time for 14 years.

Brad Weber taught for 36 years, and retired in May of 2013 from Wayne High School. His individual honors include: Brad was the NSBA secretary for the 25th anniversary and the president for the 50th anniversary. He was the Member ship chair in 1999, President in 2009. Brad served on the NMEA board in 1992 as Chair or band affairs, 2006 he was on the all state music audition committee. In 1999 he was selected as the Educator of the year by the Wayne area of commerce in 2000 he received the Norfolk lavistef Celebration’s community excellence outstanding citizen award for wayne. In 2009 he received the Donald Lentz Outstanding bandmaster award.

Richard L Keiser taught in the following districts- Papillion LaVista, Elkhorn Public Schools, and the last 25 years at Boys Town for a total of 41 years, where he retired in May of 2014. His individual honors include: received the Donald A. Lentz award in 2000, Served 11 years on the NSBA Board, and 2 years on the NMEA board. Mr. Keiser taught in the following districts- Papillion LaVista, Elkhorn Public Schools, and the last 25 years at Boys Town for a total of 41 years, where he retired in May of 2014. His LaVista Junior High Band was selected to perform at the NSBA Convention in 1983 and two times at the NMEA convention.

Terry R. Rush - Mr. Rush taught in the following districts- Pius X High School, Lincoln High School and the last 5 years at Lincoln Southwest high School for a total of 34 years, where he retired in May of 2014. His individual honors include: received the Donald A. Lentz award, Lincoln Symphony Golden Baton Award, The Nebraska National Guard Medal of Freedom, and the Band World John Philip Sousa Foundation Merit Award.

Greg Olsen - Mr. Olsen taught in the following districts- Lewiston Consolidated Schools, Raymond Central Schools, Concordia University, Lincoln Northeast, Irving Middle School, Milford Public Schools, and the past 14 years at Nebraska City for a total of 32 years, and is retiring in May of 2015.

Rex Barker - Mr. Barker taught in the following districts- Grand Island Northwest and the last 26 years in the Millard Public Schools for a total of 33 years, where he will retire in May.

Byron Braasch - Mr. Braasch taught in the following districts- Shelby Public Schools, Norfolk High School, Bellevue West high School, and is currently at Lewis and Clark Middle school for a total of 33 years, where he will retire in May.

Dr. Brian Anderson - Dr. Anderson taught in the following districts- 5-12 band in Milford - from 1983-86, 5-12 band at Albion from 1986-88, and High School Band and Orchestra at Fremont from 1988-2016. His individual honors include: Jack R. Snider Outstanding Young Director Award, ASBDA Stanbury Award, Kiwanis International Outstanding Music Educator Award, Legion of Honor from the John Phillip Sousa Foundation, Sudler Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Awards from NSBA and NMEA, Hastings College Distinguished Alumnus, Contributing Editor for The Instrumentalist magazine, and the Donald A. Lentz Outstanding Bandmaster Award.


Duane DeVries received his Bachelor’s Degree from UNL  in 1972.  Mr. DeVries taught at Chambers Public School for 44 years. His individual honors include: Donald A. Lentz award in 2004 from NSBA.

Duane’s bands have received numerous superior ratings over the years.  His band was selected to perform at NSBA in 2002. He is a member of NMEA and NSBA.

When he isn’t teaching at school Duane is an avid golfer and also a very skilled carpenter.   

Lori Evans received her Bachelor’s Degree from UNK in 1978 and her Masters Degree from University of Southern Mississippi in 1999.  Mrs. Evans taught in Holbrook Ne from 78-83, Richmond, California from 89-92, Elizabeth City, North Carolina from 93-07, and Hershey, NE from 07-17.

Her individual honors include: American Legion Teacher of the Year 2010. Lori’s bands have received a superior rating at NSBA marching contest in 14,15, and 2016. They also received a Superior at District Music Contest from 2011-2016.  Her marching band also received 1st place music, marching, GE, and 1st place overall at the Alamo parade Comp in San Antonio, TX in Dec. 2016.

She is a member of NSBA, NAfME, NSEA, NEA

When she isn’t teaching at school Lori enjoys Community Theater, playing in church praise band, and she conducts the North Platte Municipal Band.

Lori is also a US Navy Veteran.

Tom Jaworski received his Bachelor’s Degree from UNL  in 1974, and his Masters Degree in 1980 from UNL.  Mr. Jaworski taught at Genoa Public School from 74-78, Aurora Public Schools from 78-79, Weeping Water Public Schools from 79-86, and Adams Central Public Schools from 1986-2017.

His individual honors include: Adams Central Teacher of the year, 2007 Donald A. Lentz Award, 2010 Nebraska Department of Education “Award of Excellence Teacher”, 2014 Tom was listed in 50 Directors who make a difference from School Band and Orchestra Magazine. 2015 NBA Certificate of Excellence. 2016 Nebraska Music Education Association Hall of Fame, and a member of the Phi Beta Mu Band Fraternity.

Tom’s bands have received numerous superior ratings over the years.  In 2003 the Adams Central Junior High Band played at the NSBA Convention, in 1985 the Weeping Water Band represented Nebraska at President Ronald Regan’s Inaugural Parade, in 2009 the Adams Central Band represented Nebraska at President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Parade, and he has at at least 1 all state band member from every school he has taught in.

He is a member of NSBA, where he has served as Class Representative, Treasurer, and Presdient.  NMEA, where he has served as auditions chair, and currently serving as Historian and Retired Member Services, and NSEA – Past President at three different locals.


Joann Couton received her Bachelor’s Degree from Doane  in 1974.  Mrs. Couton began her teaching career at Exeter for 2 years, then Raymond Central for 3 years and she has spent the past 32 years at Bishop Neumann.

 Her individual honors include: Wahoo Chamber of Commerce – Howard Hanson Award in 2004 and 2010 and the Donald A. Lentz award from NSBA in 2004.

In 1998, the Eastman School of Music commissioned a piece of music to be written in honor of Howard Hanson’s 100th birthday.  It was entitled “Awakenings”, written by Belinda Takahashi, and performed by the Wahoo and Bishop Neumann combined bands on the Kimball stage, May 7th, 1998.  It was an honor to conduct.

 Her Band has received 13 Academic Achievement Awards from NSBA.

Joann enjoys playing and directing the St. Wenceslaus Church Choir and Traveling, she was married for 34 years to her husband Bob, before his passing in 2010 and she has 3 children.

Randy Raines received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1975 and his Masters Degree from the University of Kansas in 1981. 

His teaching career included positions at Fort Larned USD #495 for 2 years, 5 years as the Director of Bands Oklahoma Panhandle State University, 1 year as the Visiting Professor of Music, Director of Bands, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 7 years as the Director of Bands, McCook Public Schools, 3 years as the Director of Bands, Scottsbluff Schools, 3 years as the Director of Bands, Arkansas City Schools, and 21 years as the Director of Bands, Gering Public Schools

His individual honors include: Who’s Who of America’s Teachers,  Nebraska Music Educator of the year 2010,  Educator of the Month, McCook Schools

Randy’s bands honors include:Jazz Band selected to represent the State of Kansas for America’s Bicentennial, performance at Philadelphia Independence Hall, 1976

McCook Jazz Bands selected twice to perform at the State School Board Convention First place at Music in the Parks in San Francisco, Chicago, Selected to perform at Disneyland twice, 19 straight years superior ratings at District Contest, Concert and jazz bands.


Mark Benson received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1985 and his Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University in 1988.  Mr. Benson began his teaching career in 1988 in parochial schools in the Chicago Area.  In 1990, he returned to Nebraska and has taught at Mission Middle School in Bellevue from 1990 to the present.  His ensembles at Mission have received numerous honors, including a 2004 NMEA Convention performance for his jazz ensemble and a 2011 NSBA Convention performance for his 8th grade band.

Mr. Benson’s professional memberships include NSBA, NMEA, and the Omaha Musicians Association.

His hobbies include traveling, playing with the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra and other groups. 

Matt Sheppard received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1987 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his Master’s Degree in 1991 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Mr. Sheppard began teaching in 1987 as a UNL Graduate Teaching Assistant.  From 1988-1997, he taught at Grand Island Northwest and from 1997-2000 he taught at Grand Island Senior High School.  Mr. Sheppard moved to Millard Public Schools and taught there from 2000-2009, and since 2010, he has been teaching at Westside Middle School. 

Mr. Sheppard has earned several teaching awards, including the NSBA Jack Snider Young Band Director Award in 1992, the Grand Island Woodmen of the World Teacher of the Year, and the Grand Island Senior High School A+ Teacher Award.

Some highlights of his performing groups include in performing at NMEA Convention in 1996 with the Grand Island Northwest band, hosting and performing twice with the Maynard Ferguson band, and many performances at the NSBA Concert Band Festival.

Mr. Sheppard’s professional memberships include NSBA, where he has served as Class Representative, Public Relations Chair, Middle Level Chair, and President; Phi Beta Mu, where he was a charter member and has served as President; Westside Education Association, NSEA, and Negotiations Chair and President of the Grand Island Northwest Education Association.

When Mr. Sheppard is not at school, you can find him spending time with family and traveling, teaching private lessons, playing in the Nebraska Czech Brass Band and Nebraska Brass Band, being a church musician, and serving as the Co-Tour Director of the Nebraska Ambassadors of Music Europe Tour with his wife, Barb.

Steve Steager received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1986 from the University of Nebraska- Omaha and his Master’s Degree in 1994 from the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.  Mr. Steager began his career at Schuyler Central High School and taught there from 1986-1989.  He then taught junior high at Fremont Middle School from 1989-2019.  He was also the Midland Lutheran College Director of Bands from 1997-2003. 

Mr. Steager has many individual accolades, including being president of the Nebraska Czechs Incorporated from 2019-2020 and being inducted into the Sokol Omaha Polka Hall of Fame.  He was the Fremont Area Rotary Club Teacher of the Year in 2015, Principal Tuba in the Lincoln Symphony in the 2011-2013 seasons, NSBA Jack Snider Oustanding Young Band Director in 1991, and Schuyler Central High School Teacher of the Year in 1989.

Some highlights of his performing ensembles include the Schuyler band earning 1st place in parade, field, and concert competition at the Red River Exhibition in Winnipeg, Canada in 1989, and his Fremont Middle School bands performing at the 1996 and 2010 NSBA Conventions and 2001 NMEA Convention.

Mr. Steager is a member of NSBA, where he served as president in 2012-2013, and currently serves as the Snider Award chair, NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, NEA, and Phi Delta Kappa.

Steve’s future plans include being a Real Estate Agent.


Dan Frisbie received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1985 and his Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1989.  Mr. Frisbie began his teaching career in 1985 at Seward Public Schools and taught his entire career there.  Mr. Frisbie’s ensembles have received numerous superior ratings throughout the years and have made multiple appearances at the State Capitol. His professional memberships include NSBA, NMEA, NEA, and the UNL Alumni Association, and is a past president of the alumni association.

Marla Janak received her Bachelor’s in music education from Midland University in 1983 and her MA in trumpet performance from the University of Iowa in 1987.  Mrs. Janak began her teaching career at Anita Community Schools in Anita, IA from 1983-1985.  She then taught at Lewis Central Schools in Council Bluffs, IA from 1986-1991, part time at Midland University from 1992-1996, St. Columbkille in Papillion from 1995-1997, and Springfield Platteview Schools from 1999-2019. 

Mrs. Janak was inducted into the Omaha Sokol Polka Hall of Fame in 2012 and was named the Schmitt Music Director of the year in 2018. 

Her career highlights include performing at the Iowa Bandmasters Convention in 1987; her Springfield Platteview 6th grade band receiving 17 consecutive superior ratings at contest; her Springfield Platteview Jr. High Jazz Band receiving 15 consecutive superior ratings at contest; having several students selected for the NSBA 8th grade all state band; presenting at both NSBA and NMEA conventions; and having many students receiving superior ratings and medals at the Elkhorn Band Olympics.

Mrs. Janak’s professional organizations include NMEA, NSBA, and NEA.

Debra Lund received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a minor in Spanish in 1977 from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  She has completed courses in music and education administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha and elsewhere.  Mrs. Lund began her teaching career with one year at Corsica Public Schools in Corsica, SD, followed by one year at Dell Rapids Public Schools in Dell Rapids, SD.  From 1979-2020 she was an instrumental music teacher then administrator for Music in Catholic Schools, Omaha Archdiocese.  She began as a teacher in 1979 when Music in Catholic Schools began. 

Mrs. Lund’s honors include being a recipient of the 2009 NSBA Outstanding Administrator Award. Her professional organization memberships include Association of Concert Bands, NSBA, NMEA, and previously National Band Association.

Dick Marolf received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1974 and also completed his Master’s from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He began his teaching career in Norris from 1978-1985.  He taught at Lincoln Northeast from 1985-1987, Lefler Middle School from 1987-2003, Scott Middle School from 2003-2009, Dawes Middle School from 2011-2018, and Norris from 2018-2020.  

His honors include receiving the Gold Star Teacher of the Year at Lefler, Scott, and Dawes Middle Schools; performing at NSBA convention 3 times; performing at NMEA; and “hopefully bringing some joy and instilling a sense of musical passion and a desire to work hard and excel in life to a few students in my career.” 

His professional organizations include NSBA, including serving as president, NMEA, including serving as audition chair, NSEA, and Phi Beta Mu.  He also is currently his church choir co-director, a church elder, a Holland Town Board Member, a Teammates Mentor, and has served on ESU 6 School Board for 3 years.

Byron Braasch
Ann Davis

Bob Viergutz
Jeff Mount
Cathy Keiser
Curtis Forsch
Mike Murphy

Nebraska State Bandmasters Association
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