The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

SPNRD Recognizes Tammy Sherman as Environmental Educator

 

October 23, 2019

Courtesy Photo

Tammy Sherman, right, is pictured with school counselor Carla Brauer. Sherman, fifth grade teacher at West Elementary School, was known for her passion for science and her interaction with students.

Passion is what makes the difference. It doesn't matter what the occupation or calling in life. It is the difference between working for the paycheck and working to benefit your clients... or students.

Tammy Sherman was known for how she cared about her students, and her love for the sandhills.

"She enjoyed working," said Andrew "Sherm" Sherman.

Tammy Sherman lost her battle with cancer in March. She left behind her family of Sherm and her daughters. She also left behind the education family of West Elementary where she taught.

"When we had our first child, she decided to stay at home," Sherm said. "She was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years."

When their girls were in school, she returned to school also... as a teaching assistant. She then went back to college and earned her teaching degree, then worked in Omaha. For as much as she enjoyed the classroom in Omaha, she missed the Panhandle region and the Sandhills.

The family moved to Sidney with Sherm's opportunity at the Sidney Public Library, which also brought her back to the sandshills, she loved, according to Sherm. He says she had two dreams: return to the Sandhills and teach science. She was able to combine her dreams with the move to Sidney.

Tragically, she was not living a simple story. She was battling cancer the entire four years she taught in Sidney. Sherm said she underwent chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and radiation treatment.

"Her cancer was pretty aggressive," he said.

He said she had two clear years after treatment.

"When she started feeling bad again, it was pretty widely spread."

He said she went on Disability the week before she died.

In April 2019, the school board was approached with a memorial project in her honor, a tree and a plaque at West Elementary School. Principal Gene Russell said in the April 6 school board meeting that she was a "highly-dedicated fifth grade teacher." Sherm said she would schedule her treatments around the needs of her students. Her biggest concern was if she was at the top of her game for her students.

"She was really hoping to finish the school year," he said. "She was a tough, tough gal."

The South Platte Natural Resources District is recognizing her work in teaching science to young students. The SPNRD is recognizing her with the Environmental Educator Award.

"She was a very enthusiastic science teacher," Sherm said.

In his nomination letter, Principal Gene Russell said "Tammy Sherman's approach to science in the betterment of natural resources was tremendous. She was fantastic at getting speakers and presenters from all over to come to West (Elementary School) to fascinate the students about science. The have become accustomed to The Story Behind the Switch, which is a great presentation about where the world gets power and the different forms of energy sources."

He said she orchestrated many field trips designed on getting students to better understand natural resources and helped create an all-day "outdoor classroom" including field trips to Oliver Reservoir. She also took on the challenge of implementing science curriculum for all Sidney K-12 students, and volunteered with the 4-H Robotics program.

The award will be presented to this year's recipients in Sidney on Nov. 12.

 

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