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2023 Nebraska MTSS Summit

Transformations Through Coherence

October 12 and 13, 2023 – Hybrid


Join us this fall for the 2023 Nebraska MTSS Summit on Oct. 12 and 13 in Kearney! The two-day event, hosted by the Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of Special Education, will feature engaging presentations and interactive breakout sessions around the theme of “Transformations Through Coherence.”

Participants may register to attend the summit in person at the Younes Conference Center North or participate in sessions virtually.

About the theme

Earlier this year, NDE released an updated NeMTSS Framework and shared glossary to promote coherence within the department and across Educational Service Units, districts, schools and programs statewide.

Aligning with the new framework, the summit will focus on using a whole child approach in the process of implementing a multi-tiered system of support for continuous improvement and providing high-quality and evidence-based social, emotional, behavioral, environmental and academic support for all students.

Presenters and workshops will provide participants with opportunities to systematically promote inclusive practices and support staff in improving outcomes for students.

The summit will serve as an introduction and expansion of work educators are starting or have already begun with NeMTSS workshops and implementation support.


Registration is now open and is expected to close Sept. 15, unless capacity is reached before then. Registration for virtual or in-person attendance is $125. More details, including how to register and reserve lodging, is available on our summit website.



Meet this year’s keynote presenters:

  • Kelly Karhoff, Lisa Moody and Robin Winters, Omaha Public Schools: “Hybrid Inclusive Instruction Program: Empowering Elementary School Students Through Inclusive Education.”
  • Sam Stecher, co-founder and educational consultant, “#MissionMonday: Take the Random Out of Random Acts of Kindness.”
  • W. David Tilly III, Ph.D., former deputy director and administrator, Division of PK-12 Education (retired), Iowa Department of Education: “Creating Coherence Across the Education System Using MTSS Thinking.”

Kelly Karhoff is a speech-language pathologist for Omaha Public Schools. With a deep passion for helping individuals overcome communication challenges, Karhoff has made a significant impact in her field. One of her most remarkable accomplishments is her pivotal role in the collaborative design and implementation of a hybrid special education program focused on inclusive instruction. Understanding the significance of inclusive education, she took the initiative to develop a program that integrates students with special needs into mainstream classrooms. This innovative approach not only facilitates academic progress, but also promotes social interaction and emotional well-being among all students. Karhoff’s commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment has had a transformative effect on students’ lives. By providing specialized intervention and support, she empowers individuals to develop their communication skills, fostering independence and self-confidence.

Lisa Moody is a special education teacher for Omaha Public Schools, where she has played a pivotal role in the creation and implementation of a groundbreaking special education hybrid program. With a passion for creating inclusive environments where students with disabilities feel accepted and valued as members of the school community, Moody has dedicated herself to bridging the gap between special education and general education. Through her innovative program, she strives to foster an atmosphere of inclusivity, where all students are learning and growing together. Moody promotes collaboration and understanding among students of diverse abilities to ensure each student’s unique strengths are celebrated and applied within the classroom. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her work with extensive qualifications, including master’s degrees in special education, ESL and early childhood education. Her commitment to promoting inclusivity and ensuring that every student feels valued and accepted has earned her widespread recognition, including the prestigious Milken Educator Award.

Sam Stecher is an educational consultant and co-founder of Stecher has been changing school culture from the inside since 1997, serving in roles ranging from paraprofessional to superintendent of schools. He has provided instruction, training and leadership at every level — from elementary school to university institutions. He got his start in education as a teacher at Horizon Middle School in Kearney, where he taught history and coached wrestling for more than a decade. Stecher is co-founder, with his good friend Mark Johnson, of an educational consulting firm known as, which specializes in providing leaders, educators, schools and communities with interventions to foster a positive school culture. Stecher is also co-author of “It Happens in the Hallway,” a dynamic account of experiences in the classroom. Stecher has had the opportunity to connect with thousands of leaders and educators nationwide through his work with and speaking engagements at conferences and schools.This endeavor began more than 20 years ago in a little coffee shop where two good friends would get together to talk about their successes and failures as teachers. Their conversation grew beyond the classroom and set them on a mission to change the world. And that conversation has never really stopped… consider this an invitation to join.

W. David Tilly III, Ph.D. served as deputy director and administrator (retired) for the Division of PK-12 Education within the Iowa Department of Education (IDE) from 2012 to 2020. Dr. Tilly previously served as director of innovation and accountability for Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) 11 and was a consultant for assessment, research and innovation at IDE. Dr. Tilly has worked in various other capacities, including as a practicing psychologist, a university trainer at Iowa State University, a state department of education consultant and an administrator. He collaborates with states, school districts, federal offices and national organizations to improve educational results for all children. Dr. Tilly is also the author or co-author of 40 published journal articles, book chapters and books, mostly focused on education innovation, systems change and improving educational results.

Robin Winters is an elementary school teacher for Omaha Public Schools. Winters is more than just a first grade teacher; she is a beacon of compassion, dedication and inclusivity in the world of education. With a heart as open as her classroom doors, Winters has been on a mission to create an environment where every student feels valued, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds. With an unwavering belief in the potential of each child, Winters fosters an environment that encourages collaboration, empathy and understanding. Her dedication to promoting inclusivity has not only transformed the lives of her students, but has also served as an inspiration to her colleagues. Winters’ commitment to creating inclusive classroom communities, coupled with a desire to further her education by working to obtain master’s degrees in early childhood education and ESL, showcases her passion for empowering young minds.