One Room One Teacher

Since opening its doors in 1905 the University of Nebraska at Kearney – then the Nebraska State Normal School – has played a major role in educating Nebraska’s future educators. From then to now more than 20,000 teachers have earned their certificates at the institution now known as the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Many of those early educators went on to teach in Nebraska’s rural areas, often in one room schools where they did everything. Not only were these intrepid educators the only teacher students had from kindergarten through eighth grade, they also maintained the school. Whether they taught in one room schools or not, these rural teachers played a vital role in educating students in Nebraska.

Honoring those teaching pioneers and preparing the next generation of Nebraska educators is the goal of the new One Room, One Teacher scholarship program at UNK.

The One Room, One Teacher Program

One Room, One Teacher is a scholarship program for UNK College of Education students that will acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Nebraska’s unique rural educators.

UNK is asking past rural educators, family members of those rural educators, or former rural students to make a contribution to the One Room, One Teacher Scholarship Fund. Funds will be used to provide scholarships for current and future UNK education students and to maintain a Wall of Honor acknowledging donors.

Honoring rural education

Monty Nielsen - Why we Chose to honor my Mother

This program honors all rural Nebraska educators whether they taught in one room schools or not. Teaching graduates from institutions other than UNK can also be honored in this program.

Giving Levels

Donors who contribute $1,000 will receive a small plaque engraved with their name, or the name of someone they would like remembered, and the name of the school placed on a Wall of Honor inside UNK’s College of Education.

Donors who contribute $5,000 will have their name or their honoree’s name, photo, school, and graduation year placed on a plaque displayed on the Wall of Honor.

Benefactors giving $10,000 receive a large plaque engraved with their, or an honoree’s, name, photo, school, graduation date, and a short bio about the honoree on the Wall of Honor. Additionally, a replica plaque will be given to the honoree. Also, a short personal audio story will be placed on the UNK College of Education’s website and video collection.

And while UNK is offering the program, the teachers honored do not have to be graduates of UNK. Any teacher who taught at any rural Nebraska school, one room or more than one room, is eligible to be remembered in the One Room, One Teacher program.

How to give

To give to the One Room, One Teacher Scholarship Fund, go to
Or contact Kristin Howard, University of Nebraska Foundation,, 308-698-5270.

One Room One Teacher Stories 

Read stories about those teachers who have been honored with a plaque on the Wall of Honor at UNK.