CHADRON – Three Chadron State College alumni are members of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission.
Becky Herian of Alliance, Dora Olivares of Gering and Dr. Marty Ramirez of Lincoln, were appointed to the 17-member body in 2014 by former Gov. Dave Heineman and will each fulfill a four-year term.
Celebrations of Nebraska’s 150th year of statehood include parades, conferences, art exhibits, plays, heritage festivals and numerous other events shown on the calendar at the ne150.org website.
Herian graduated from Chadron State College in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and taught in Alliance Public Schools more than 30 years. She is on the Educational Joint Working Committee and the Grant Review Joint Working Committee. She said she has promoted the 150th anniversary of statehood in Chadron, as well as communities across Highways 2 and 20 and various communities throughout the Panhandle.
“It's been an incredible opportunity to be part of planning and bringing to fruition great events, projects and programs that enable all Nebraskans to ‘reflect on who we were, celebrate who we are and inspire future generations while embracing our cultural diversity’ as our mission statement leads us to accomplish,” Herian said.
She is a retired teacher who operates the Herian Angus Ranch east of Alliance with her family in addition to being a classroom volunteer.
“I encourage groups and organizations in the Panhandle to think about events, programs and projects they have on going, incorporate the 150 and then apply for official status. This is Nebraskans’ opportunity to celebrate our great state and inspire each other, our children, and grandchildren for years to come,” Herian said.
Olivares, the principal at Gering High School, is on the education committee. She said she was honored to receive the invitation from the Governor’s office.
“It's amazing how various entities, both private and public, have worked together to help Nebraska's Sesquicentennial be a wonderful celebration for all Nebraskans,” said Olivares, who is part of the committee that approves events submitted for grant funding.
She plans to attend regional events such as the Scottsbluff Monument Marathon, the Balloon Fest, Oregon Trail Days and the rededication of Centennial Mall as part of the Sesquicentennial. Additionally, she will attend the Statehood Spectacular in Lincoln in August 2017, featuring a parade, fireworks, light show and music.
Olivares, who graduated with her master’s degree in education from CSC in 1999, has been active in education for 26 years. She has taught in Lincoln, Torrington, Wyoming, and Scottsbluff. She has been a translator and Spanish instructor, curriculum coordinator and assistant principal before she was named to her current position in 2008.
Ramirez, who was honored in 2013 with a CSC Distinguished Alumni Award, is a retired psychologist from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he worked for 38 years.
“Initially I was not sure about our charge as a commission but as we are nearing 2017 with our motto and mission in mind, we are reaching out to all Nebraskans to participate through celebration of our statehood,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez, a member of the arts and cultural committee, says his charge is to reach out to Latinos and their communities inviting them to participate in the celebration of Nebraska’s statehood.
“Immigrants have made Nebraska what it is today. This upcoming celebration will be inclusive of all Nebraskans,” Ramirez said.
In 1987, he received the NEBRASKAland Days “Hispanic Man of the Year Award” and the League of United Latin American Citizens “National Hispanic Man of the Year Award.”
He also was presented Omaha’s “Mexican Independence Day Veterans Award” in 1992 and Lincoln’s YWCA “Mentor and Allies Award” in 2000.
In 2013, he received the “Melvin W. Jones Mentoring Award” during Lincoln’s Celebration of Community Leadership Dinner. The award recognized how he had assisted clients by serving as their mentor and inspiration. The presenters also honored him for promoting diversity throughout the community.
For more information about Nebraska Statehood events and programs see ne150.org.
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