2019 Special Education & Inner City Educators of the Year

Each year, the Archbishop’s Dinner for Education honors eight outstanding educators for their contributions to Catholic education.  The 2019 Dinner for Education will be held September 12 at Embassy Suites in La Vista.  Leading up to the event, we’ll highlight this year’s honorees on the blog. Read on to learn about our Special Education and Inner City Educators of the Year.

Educator of the Year – Special Education and Inner City:  Diane Vaiskunas, Madonna School & Community Based Services (Omaha, Nebraska)

Funded by the Maginn Family Foundation

This school year is Diane’s 39th year at Madonna School & Community Based Services. She had the great fortune of working as a student teacher under the school’s founder, Sister Evangeline. Diane has the ability, in Christ-like fashion, to meet her students where they are and guide them through the learning process. Since 1980, she has served in multiple capacities and she has even been a substitute teacher in every classroom in the school.

Diane is also known as the school social director and organizes student as well as faculty activities. She chaperones school dances and other after-school activities, organizes pep rallies for the Special Olympics teams and so much more.

Outside of Madonna, she is Head of Delegation for all sports with the Special Olympics. She oversees 50 athletes and six coaches who participate in coaching students in multiple sports.

Educator of the Year – Special Education and Inner City: Suzanne Seyler, St. Bernard School (Omaha, Nebraska)

Funded by the Maginn Family Foundation

“Each student has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world. Nothing makes me happier than the grace-filled moment and smile form a student after a difficult concept is mastered,” said Suzanne Seyler, second grade teacher at St. Bernard Catholic School in Omaha.

Suzanne not only helps her students daily encounter Jesus, but families are touched by her faithfulness as well. She shares her talents as a religious education instructor and with the parish’s RCIA program. She is a member of the board and mentor for new teachers. And she prepares her students for the sacraments, so they can take an active role in liturgy during their lifetime of faithful service.

There’s a sign outside of her classroom that reads: “You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out” (Deuteronomy 28:6).  Suzanne says, “I often remind myself of how blessed I am to teach and share my faith with the future leaders of our Church and country.”


 We invite you to join us as we celebrate both of these tremendous leaders in Catholic education within the Archdiocese of Omaha. Tickets for the Archbishop’s Dinner for Education on September 12 can be purchased online.