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Meet the NeMTSS Team

2021-22 School Year

As schools welcome students back this fall, we want to take this time to introduce the newest members of the Nebraska Multi-tiered System of Support (NeMTSS) team. For the 2021-22 school year, we have made some shifts and added new positions to offer more support to educators throughout Nebraska.


Regional Support Leads

First, we have five regional support leads. Your regional support lead will be your first point of contact for scheduling professional development opportunities or workshops, finding information and getting support throughout the year. Their regions and educational service unit (ESU) assignments are as follows:

Region 1: ESUs 4, 5 & 6

Scott Eckman

Scott Eckman is currently in his 18th year in education. He previously worked in Lincoln Public Schools as an elementary and middle school teacher, a building administrator, and most recently, as a supervisor in the Special Education Department. Through this work, he led the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) for the district. This year, he looks forward to helping schools and districts across the state strengthen data, systems and practices to support all students.


Region 2: ESUs 2 & 3

Kala Peyton

Kala Peyton is currently in her 17th year of education. She grew up in Wilber, Nebraska and graduated from Crete High School. She hails from McMillan Magnet Center in Omaha Public Schools, where she served as a reading teacher, instructional facilitator and Dean of Students. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education, with an endorsement in secondary English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also holds a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is working on her educational specialist degree through Doane University. Kala looks forward to building relationships with school district educators and helping them reach their goals in maximizing student outcomes this school year.


Region 3: ESUs 1, 7 & 8

Brooke Gebers

As an educator, Brooke Gebers has dedicated herself to creating inclusive spaces that best meet the needs of all students. In her new role, she is excited to be able to support districts in these same efforts by strengthening their systems and practices through an MTSS framework and improving how they use data to drive decision-making. Prior to this position, Brooke was a secondary ELA teacher. In addition to her 7-12 English Education certification, she also has an endorsement in 7-12 Special Education and is finishing a graduate degree in secondary administration. A few of her interests and passions in education are social, emotional and behavioral learning (SEBL) and culturally responsive teaching to provide more equitable learning opportunities.


Region 4: ESUs 9, 10, 11 & 17

Kris Kampovitz

Kris Kampovitz has been a preschool, elementary and middle school teacher, along with an instructional coach and Title Math teacher over the past 26 years. Her passion lies in supporting districts as they create and implement a solid MTSS framework, which in turn, supports teachers as they provide high-quality educational experiences to meet the needs of each student.



Region 5: ESUs 13, 15 & 16

Tessa Fraass

Tessa Fraass has been in education for 21 years, serving as a teacher and administrator. She is passionate about helping schools create a framework that doesn’t add to their already overfull plates, allows them to be proactive instead of reactive, and one that educators can see and feel the difference when all work toward a common goal. Tessa looks forward to working with ESUs to empower their districts to create, implement and sustain a strong MTSS framework that meets the needs of each student in a system for all.

Early Childhood Implementation Facilitators

Next, we have five early childhood implementation facilitators, also divided by regions. These team members can support early childhood programs in MTSS implementation, focused on the Pyramid Model (PBIS for early childhood).


Region 1: ESUs 4, 5 & 6

Amy Colwell

Amy Colwell has been in education for 26 years and is very excited about joining our team. She served Lincoln Public Schools for 23 years, first as a middle level English teacher, then as a middle level instructional coordinator, and finally, as an elementary assistant principal. Amy transitioned to the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska as an educational facilitator and equity coach, where she served Omaha Public Schools and Westside. She is thrilled to return to the southeast corner of the state to serve communities with Early Childhood MTSS.



Region 2: ESUs 2 & 3

Kayla Parr

Kayla Parr has worked in early childhood education for 8 years, holding a bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education and a master’s degree in educational leadership. She previously worked for Omaha Public Schools where she taught preschool and first grade, and later worked for the Nebraska Department of Education as an early childhood special education specialist. Kayla continues to support districts and communities with the implementation of the Pyramid Model, Teaching Strategies GOLD and inclusive practices as part of Region 2. Her work is driven by implementation science to intentionally build out the systems required to implement and sustain practices.


Region 3: ESUs 1, 7 & 8

Kary Pfeil

Kary Pfeil will have a dual role in the NDE world, as both an early childhood MTSS implementation facilitator and ELC coach consultant. She has been in early childhood education for the past 23 years. Kary looks forward to having the opportunity to collaborate with school districts and child care programs in her region, and to meet their individual needs around early childhood social-emotional development.



Region 4: ESUs 9, 10, 11 & 17

Libbie Puncochar

Libbie Puncochar has been an educator for 26 years and is a member of the NeMTSS team providing comprehensive support for district, Head Start and community early childhood programs. She has spent much of her career working in PK Rule 11 classrooms as a regular education and special education teacher. Libbie looks forward to collaborating with programs to help meet the needs of all children, families and staff.



Region 5: ESUs 13, 15 & 16

Alison Place

Alison Place is from the Greater Chicago Area with a background in early education, psychological and social research, and higher education. She looks forward to collaborating with peers and the community to work toward positive growth for all the educators and children we serve.


Social, Emotional and Behavioral Learning Specialists

And finally, we now have three social, emotional and behavioral learning (SEBL) specialists to support schools and educators with using SEBL techniques and methods in schools and classrooms within an MTSS framework. The best way to contact them is to start with your regional support lead first.


Regions 1 & 2: ESUs 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Mackenzie Riedel

Mackenzie Riedel grew up in Lincoln and moved to Wisconsin for her undergraduate work in psychology and at-risk child/youth care. She then moved to North Carolina where she earned a specialist degree in school psychology before moving back to Lincoln in 2018. This is her fourth year in education. She is excited to help school districts create and implement systems to support social, emotional and behavioral well-being among students and staff.



Regions 3 & 4: ESUs 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 17

Jill Guenther

Jill Guenther grew up in a small town outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and moved to Omaha after completing graduate school. She worked first as a speech-language pathologist, then transitioned to special education leadership at the secondary level. As she begins her 17th year working in education, she is excited to be a part of NeMTSS and collaborate across the state to support the social, emotional and behavioral learning needs of students and staff.



Region 5: ESUs 13, 14 & 16

Emily Arkfeld

Emily Arkfeld spent most of the last decade as a school social worker in Bellevue Public Schools. This year, she looks forward to bringing social, emotional and behavioral learning (SEBL) to more districts across the state so they can better serve their students, staff and community.


The group photo featured above includes all members of the NeMTSS team:

On screen, top row: Kayla Parr, Libbie Puncochar.
On screen, middle row: Kala Peyton, Kelly Wojcik, Heather Gill.
On screen, bottom row: Katie Barmettler, Kary Pfeil.
Back row, left to right: Mary Jo McElhose, Maureen Halpenny, Scott Eckman, Jill Guenther, Brooke Gebers, Amanda Witte, Tessa Fraass, Dennis Moore, Kris Kampovitz, Heather Robbins, Emily Arkfeld, Sheyanne Meadows, Ginny Howard, Nancy Woodhams, Mary Osterloh, Susan Wiggins, Karen Montgomery, Laura Barrett, Marissa Payzant, George Toman.
Front row, left to right: Jane Byers, Amy Rhone, Mackenzie Riedel, Micki Charf, Casey Hurner, Linda Clavel, Abby Burke.