Award Year: 2021

Lux Middle School

7800 High Street
Lincoln, NE, 68506-3661

(402) 436-1220

Mr. Duane Dohmen, Principal at time of Nomination

Lincoln Public School District

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Lux promotes academics, fosters creativity, develops interpersonal and intrapersonal success, encourages responsibility, affirms diversity, and encourages the pursuit of lifelong learning.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 2%
  • White: 79%
  • Hispanic: 8%
  • Asian: 4%
  • Two or more races: 6%
When students succeed, even masks can't hide the smiles.

When students succeed, even masks can't hide the smiles.

Lux Middle School has long empowered our students to achieve academically. While many factors contribute to this success, we believe the primary reason our students excel is because we not only teach them, we teach their teachers, too. Like education researcher Robert Marzano, Lux believes, "the single most influential component of an effective school is the individual teachers within that school." In other words, successful students are the product of successful teachers.

To fulfill this objective, five years ago Lux administrators began to annually spotlight a specific instructional practice as the focus of all professional learning in the building. Our first instructional focus was objectives: What was the objective of a particular lesson? How should teachers communicate that objective? How will the objective be assessed? Objectives were the topic of all professional articles read by the staff that first year. They were the first agenda item at all staff meetings and the topic of discussion at breakout groups where staff shared ideas and successes. Posting lesson objectives became the primary component of staff appraisals.

Since the inception of this annual focus on instructional practices, administrators have spotlighted circulation, opportunities to respond, and currently, 100 percent participation strategies. This intentional discussion, exercise, and evaluation of instructional practices has made our teachers more adept as individual educators, able to answer the vital question, "what does effective instruction look like?" It has also given us a common language of exceptional education technique as a whole. This common language and experience has grown competency, confidence, and community, all of which create effective teachers and higher achieving students.