Mertz earns 2022 Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award

Molly Mertz
Molly Mertz

Molly Mertz was one of 15 Omaha Public Schools teachers who received the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award in 2022, recognized for their dedication to the more than 53,000 students OPS serves. The annual award highlights teachers’ essential role in our community and society.

Mertz (Mroczek) was in cohort 1 of the OPS Teacher Leader Academy Math in the Middle program. She earned her Master of Arts for Teachers degree from the UNL Department of Mathematics in 2015.

Mertz is now an English as a Second Language teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School. Mertz has been with OPS for nine years, all of them at Lewis and Clark. A native of Minden, Mertz has a bachelor's degree from UNK. A colleague said, “Molly’s persistence, patience and clarity allow her students to achieve their goals during their first years in this country. She encourages her students by positive reinforcement, very high standards and plenty of extra individual support.”

Each of the winners receives $10,000 and a silver engraved medallion from the Susan T. Buffett Foundation, along with $1,000 in McDonald’s gift cards.

The 2022 Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award winners include the following recipients:
* Tom Brown - Saddlebrook Elementary third grade teacher
* Laura Chambers - South High English as a Second Language (ESL) & Spanish teacher
* Kim Dutiel - Dodge Elementary fourth grade teacher
* Amy Fitl - Edison Elementary third grade
* Craig Horobik - Burke High science teacher
* Allison Iles - North High counselor
* Debi Bischof Jaeke - Western Hills Elementary counselor
* Molly Mertz - Lewis & Clark Middle English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher
* Donna Murphy - Northwest High resource teacher
* Kelly Nielsen - Oak Valley Elementary resource teacher
* Lisa Price - Washington Elementary second grade teacher
* Patrick Ryan - Burke High social studies and aeronautics teacher
* Sarah Short - Lewis & Clark Middle instrumental music teacher
* Cheryl White - Norris Middle reading teacher
* Kristi Woodworth - Bryan Middle family and consumer science teacher

The Buffett Foundation established the award in 1988 in honor of Omaha investor Warren Buffett’s aunt, Alice Buffett. She taught home economics at Central High and Benson High for more than three decades.