Kenneth Nelson

Associate Professor

Office: COE B101   |    Phone: Office Off Campus   |    Email:

Kenneth Nelson


Ed.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Originally from Rosalie, NE and currently residing in Lincoln, Kenneth Nelson earned his bachelor’s degree in Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University, his masters from Wayne State College and his Ed.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  

Nelson’s first job was a teacher, athletic director and football and basketball coach at Maywood Public Schools.

He then was a counselor, teacher and coach at Cedar Bluffs Public Schools. In Oct. 2014, he was inducted into the Cedar Bluffs Hall of Fame for his coaching excellence.  

“I was always interested in coaching. I was a student athlete. I had good relationships with my coaches, and always thought it would be a good career. After coaching for seven years, I decided that there were things I could do that would help students more.”  

Nelson took a job as a school counselor at Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools, and eventually became principal.

“I thought I could have more influence in the community and in the school. I could have a real impact on the student body.”  

Nelson was superintendent at Adams Public Schools for 14 years and superintendent at Cozad Public Schools for six year.  

In 2001, Nelson began teaching educational administration classes at UNK. 

“I’ve always wanted to teach at a university. I make efforts to meet the students as much as possible even though all of our classes are online. We do video conferences, and whenever there’s a convention I try to make arrangements for students to meet me there.”

He currently teaches law classes and practicum classes.  

“The goal of our program is to have first year principals and superintendents be as prepared as possible. I always try to provide practical experiences and give them assignments that relate to the real world. Students seem to appreciate that.”  

Nelson served as the president of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, was chairman of the board NCSA, received the Distinguished Service Award from NCSA and has been named Outstanding Teacher in the UNK College of Education twice.


  • Spending time at his lake home near Ashland, NE
  • Watching Loper and Husker football
  • Reading books on World War II
  • Spending time with his wife, Julie, and his daughter, Jamie of Syracuse, NE and son Brock of Phoenix