May 27, 2015

Columbus teacher selected as Battey Award recipient

Jane Dusel-Misfeldt

Jane Dusel-Misfeldt

High school students often dread taking a chemistry class. But not Jane Dusel-Misfeldt’s students.

On Friday, May 29, the Scotus Central Catholic High School teacher from Columbus will receive the 2015 Freda Battey Distinguished Educator Award. Presented by the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the award recognizes excellence in teaching and comes with a cash award for both the teacher and school. It will be presented at a luncheon in the Nebraska Union.

One of her former students, now a teaching colleague at Scotus, knows well Dusel-Misfeldt’s passion and personal dedication to teaching. Angela Rusher was one of those students dreading chemistry. Instead, she found Dusel-Misfeldt’s class interesting and designed for her to excel and learn.

“Jane transformed the chemistry classes at Scotus,” Rusher said. Over the course of 20 years, she created hands-on labs, two-period classes and “most importantly, an atmosphere where all students are able to learn. As a teacher, she is someone I respect and strive to emulate in my own classroom.”

Wayne Morfeld, president of Scotus Central Catholic, also applauds Dusel-Misfeldt for her work outside the classroom that includes sponsoring National Honor Society, running successful annual blood drives at the school and coaching seventh-grade volleyball.

“She is in education for the right reason,” Morfeld said, “to make a difference in students’ lives. Teaching is more a vocation for Jane than a way to make a living.”

Dusel-Misfeldt earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Wayne State College. Before joining the faculty at Scotus Central Catholic, she taught for the Chemistry Teachers Demonstration Workshop at Creighton University and as a science and math teacher for one year at Exeter and Friend high schools. She is also a member of the Nebraska Association for Teachers of Science, the Nebraska Education Technology Association and the Scotus Teachers Organization, where she has been president and secretary/treasurer.

The Battey Award honors the life and career of Freda Drath Battey, a 1923 graduate of UNL’s Teachers College and a public school teacher in Ashland for many years. College of Education and Human Sciences students nominate recipients. The criteria for the award is “excellence in teaching coupled with recognition in other complementary education activities.” In reviewing nominations, the selection committee looks for evidence of teaching excellence, efforts to continue to grow as a teacher, commitment to students and engagement with students outside the classroom. For more information on the Battey Award, visit