Educator Profile    Educators

Lisa Moody (NE '22)


Jefferson Elementary School
Omaha, NE

Subject(s) taught: Special Education
Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3

At the time of the Award, Lisa Moody was:

Jefferson Elementary School
Omaha, NE

Subject(s) taught: Special Education
Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Biographical Information

Lisa Moody is a fierce advocate and holds high expectations for her students, both academically and socially. Moody teaches K-6 special education at Jefferson Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska, where she focuses on student strengths and approaches every responsibility with a positive outlook and mindset. Faced with a shortage of special education teachers at Jefferson, Moody spearheaded a new hybrid, inclusive education program, mainstreaming students in her Alternate Curriculum Program into general education classrooms. Special education students learn basic social skills in the classroom while working with Moody on academic subjects and life skills. The program has now expanded to several schools throughout the district. Moody also piloted a verbal behavior program, training multiple colleagues in instructional strategies that have improved communications skills throughout the school’s special education population. Moody often carries more than 25 students who see academic and social growth as they make progress toward their IEP goals.

Moody knows all students learn differently and consistently researches, develops interventions and works with colleagues to meet student needs. She leads professional development at Jefferson on special education topics and makes sure general education teachers have the correct accommodations—books, number lines and calculators—for the special education students who spend time in their classrooms. At the district level, Moody serves as an intensive teacher mentor and participates on a committee that promotes equity in special education practices.

Moody’s can-do spirit encourages all her students to grow and succeed, without limitations. Working closely with parents to find ways to connect and build positive relationships, she goes out of her way to find materials students need by buying them herself or soliciting donations if they fall outside the school’s budget. She engages with her students about their interests and often attends sporting events and other activities. Moody is patient with children, colleagues and families, and her impact on students is lasting with many returning to visit and share their experiences after graduation.

A product of a family of educators, Moody earned a bachelor’s in speech-language pathology education in 2009 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a master’s in special education in 2011 from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, and a master’s in education with certification in early childhood and ESL in 2022 from Creighton University.

Press release: Nebraska Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award

Related Connections

Article: Spotlight: Lisa Moody (NE '22)

Educator Quote:

"I was born with cerebral palsy, so I've dealt..." (read more)

Lisa Moody In The News

Islander Alumna Lisa Moody '11 Wins National Educator Award, $25K Cash Prize
Texas A&M University  |  Feb 13, 2023  |  Corpus Christy, TX

Lisa Moody Wins Milken Educator Award
The Wakefield Republican  |  Jan 28, 2023  |  Wakefield, NE

Omaha Elementary School Teacher Surprised with Milken Educator Award, $25K
News Channel Nebraska  |  Jan 20, 2023  |  Grand Island, NE

WATCH --> Omaha Elementary School Teacher Honored with National Award
KETV-TV  |  ABC  |  Jan 20, 2023  |  Omaha, NE

Omaha Teacher Surprised with $25,000 National Educator Award
KFAB-AM  |  iHeartMedia  |  Jan 20, 2023  |  Omaha, NE

'Every Child Has a Future': OPS Special Education Teacher Receives Milken Award
Omaha World-Herald  |  Jan 20, 2023  |  Omaha, NE

WATCH --> Omaha Special Education Teacher Surprised with National Award, $25K Prize: 'Every Child Deserves Expectations'
KMTV-TV  |  CBS  |  Jan 20, 2023  |  Omaha, NE

WATCH --> Omaha Teacher Wins Prestigious Milken Educator Award
WOWT-TV  |  NBC  |  Jan 20, 2023  |  Omaha, NE

Additional Information


2022 M.S., Early Childhood Education and ESL, Creighton University

2011 M.S., Special Education, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi

2009 B.S., Education, University of Nebraska at Omaha