Jackie Adams, 2022 Archdiocese of Omaha Metro Elementary Educator of the Year

Jackie Adams, Kindergarten Teacher // St. Bernard Catholic School, Omaha

“Students are attracted to her like a mother hen,” says colleague Helen Peyton, middle school math and science teacher.

“Jackie is the epitome of a kindergarten teacher: extremely patient, soft spoken, unassuming. I have never heard her raise her voice or seen her ‘lose her cool’ with troublesome students. She never speaks negatively of any of her students and in fact is quick to point out their strengths,” Helen said.

Jackie says she treats the children she teaches as she would like her own children to be treated: with love, respect, and dignity.

As any kindergarten teacher can attest, kindergarten is more than just coloring and story time. It is a pivotal year in which students acquire the necessary skills to help them advance through the elementary school years. “Jackie is very aware of how her students are progressing. If one is struggling to keep up, she begins the SAT (Student Assistance Team) process to see what else could be done to better serve that child, including any ideas that she could implement in her own classroom.

And the first grade teacher reaps the benefit of her conscientiousness, as Jackie’s students are well-prepared to continue their educational journey when they leave her classroom in May.

Her gentle guidance does not just pertain to her students, however. Her co-workers also benefit as well.

When there is a new teacher in her wing, she spends time helping her to become familiar with the rules and routines at St. Bernard.

Jackie has a long history with Catholic education in the archdiocese. She attended Holy Ghost grade school before attending Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School. She earned a BS in human development and elementary education from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Jackie joined St. Bernard as the school’s first Pre-K teacher. It’s a position she held until she started a12-year (and counting) tenure as its kindergarten teacher. “I really found my niche,” she says.

Jackie is a treasure hunter in her free time, frequenting estate sales, flea markets and antique stores with Christopher, her husband of 35 years. Her two children, Carly (25) and Cameron (21), both attended St. Bernard. They are active parishioners, even running a family booth at the annual parish festival, among many other volunteer efforts.


Jackie 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 for this year’s Archbishop’s Dinner for Education on September 22.