2021 Archdiocese of Omaha Rural Educator of the Year: Joyce Ortmeier

Congratulations Joyce Ortmeier, 2021 Rural Elementary Educator of the Year

Third grade teacher at Guardian Angels Central Catholic, West Point, NE

Joyce said her faith guides her to “inspire in a positive, professional and enjoyable environment for my students by learning and leading through Christ.”

“Joyce oozes joy! She is upbeat, joyful and has a passion for her career that is obvious to all those who come in contact with her,” said Erin Ridder, a school parent.

Guardian Angels Central Catholic principal Kate Hagemann said Joyce communicates effectively with parents and does a good job of partnering with them to help ensure student success. And, to top it all off, Joyce hasn’t missed a day of school in 20 years!  Another fun fact: Kate used to be both a student and colleague of Joyce!

Joyce is known among students and parents for techniques that are designed to enhance vocabulary in a fun and creative way. WOW (Word of the Week) teaches third-graders the a new word and how to incorporate it into daily conversation. Unique techniques keep students engaged and help them learn and expand their vocabulary to become better writers and speakers.

Joyce has been married to Warren Ortmeier for 37 years and they have two grown daughters, Kristine and Abby and  are members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where Joyce is an EMHC. She enjoys reading, walking, watching movies and spending time with her family and friends. She has an associate’s degree in K-12 special education from Northeast Tech Community College and a bachelor’s in K-6 elementary education from Dana College.


Hear from Joyce:


Joyce is part of a larger group of eight educators the Archdiocese of Omaha honors each year. The annual event helps us recognize and reward the impact of our local educators, celebrate Catholic education and raise important scholarship dollars for tuition assistance that helps make tuition accessible and affordable for many more families across our community.

Please join us in person or for the Virtual Experience for this year’s Archbishop’s Dinner for Education on September 23