Degrees and Certifications:
Doctorate of Education; Education Administration University of South Dakota Education Specialist; Education Administration Wayne State College Masters of Education; Elementary & Secondary Administration Drake University Bachelors of Science; Elementary & Special Education Dana College
Dr. Beth Johnsen
Welcome to Conestoga Public Schools!
By visiting my superintendent’s site, I believe you’re interested to know more about the people who help create the education environment for the children and adults at the Conestoga Public Schools. As the superintendent, I consider myself to be a support position for the teachers working directly with the students. I focus part of my time developing fiscal budgets to fund the learning in the classrooms and maintain the financial stability of the district. Another part of my time is dedicated to envisioning the educational structure and growing the teacher expertise within the district. We believe that Conestoga has the best collection of teachers and support staff who work daily to make everyday memorable and educational for our kids. Our professional development program is phenomenal and we believe that our instructional staff creates learning activities that captivate the learners and excites them to a higher level. Conestoga is known for its caring culture and contemporary educational style. Our small town beliefs are solidly intertwined into the safety networks of our communities; making our atmosphere of the buildings feel safe, inviting, and traditional in organization. Our classrooms and teachers move these welcoming and sacred characteristics to the next level of modern and forward-thinking instruction. We focus on how we can support and build each student’s knowledge and confidence in their 13-year journey at Conestoga Public Schools. Our mission statement is, “Inspire and Prepare Students for Life” and we practice this conviction every day.
Conestoga Public Schools is a consolidated school district, which includes the communities of Beaver Lake, WaConDa Lake, Murray, Nehawka, and Union, Nebraska. The communities and towns are lake-communities and small rural agricultural-connected towns. Each of these complementary areas have families that work well to make programs thrive at the schools. The Beaver Lake area has the majority of housing locations and families; the lake setting offers copious recreational fun for families and it permits them to have a quick drive to work within the metropolitan area of Omaha, Nebraska. Lake WaConDa families are able to enjoy the amenities of lake comfort and have access to work locations in the Omaha area, Nebraska City area, and Lincoln area. The small towns are very typical in their agricultural-related development. Each town has small main street businesses, churches, and housing neighborhoods. Agricultural farming include the main crops of soybeans and corn, along with livestock programs of beef and pork. Limestone quarries are located in and near the communities.
The schools within the district are located in Murray, Nebraska; the Elementary campus was built in 2006 and houses three-section elementary Preschool through 6th grade students. The Junior-Senior High School campus is located three miles west of Murray, Nebraska; the site is nestled in the midst of corn and bean fields and was built in 1978. Both campuses are well maintained and contribute great accommodations for extra-curricular activities. The town of Murray is located 27 miles south on Highway 75 of downtown Omaha, Nebraska.
Conestoga Public Schools are unique to other schools in Nebraska because we have a four-day school week. Our students attend school on a regular basis on Tuesdays through Fridays, unless it’s a holiday week and we will schedule school on Monday through Thursday. Averaging one Monday a month during the school year, we have a teacher professional development day. Teachers and administrators work together to improve teacher instructional strategies, to conduct data studies, to connect skilled learning in professional learning communities (PLCs), and to analyze our school improvement plans. The district changed their school week from a five-day week to a four-day week in 2006. Financial difficulties caused the change in the attendance structure; shortening the school week was a savings for transportation and classified staff salaries, such as the cooks, paraprofessionals, and secretaries. Since the attendance change, the district finances have improved over the years. Patrons, families, students, and staff continue to enjoy the custom of the four-day week. The district relies on property taxes as their main source of revenue to support the expenditures encumbered. Insignificant State Aid amounts have not substantially supported the district.
Enjoy your virtual visit at Conestoga!