St. Bernadette teacher feature

Nanci Neal, teacher at St. Bernadette Catholic School in Bellevue, has made an impact for countless students throughout her career. Recently, she was asked to be a consultant for a grant that University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) received from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Before being selected, she was interviewed multiple times to ensure the right fit. Once chosen, she got to spend three weeks over the summer working on and writing curriculum using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to create lessons that feature Biomechanics.

What’s Biomechanics? Biomechanics is the study of how the systems and structures of biological organisms, from the smallest plants to the largest animals, react to various forces and external stimuli.

Not just at St. Bernadette, but at all of our Consortium schools, we welcome and value STEM education. We believe that the fullness of a Consortium education helps our students experience the beauty and harmony between faith and reason.  We aim to teach the whole child and to prepare all students to not only become high-level thinkers and problem –solvers, but to become faith-filled leaders in service to God and others.

Nanci Neal said she is happy to be part of the movement to create good and tested lessons for NSF. “I created a lesson geared at third through fifth grade to see phenomena in nature and try to use animal adaptation to mitigate impact forces to the human brain.”

Neal was also selected to have posters about her lessons featured at the STEM TRAIL held at UNO on September 20. All the posters and lessons compiled by selected teacher consultants will be published by the National Science Foundation.

“It has been a wonderful opportunity for myself and St. Bernadette.  We have been meeting on one Saturday a month to collaborate with other teachers and we are part of this grant for years to come,” she said.

Congratulations to Mrs. Neal! What lucky students we have to learn from her in the classroom!

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Did you have Ms. Neal as a teacher? We’d love to hear a memory of what you remember and learned?  Email us at