Culler Middle School
Culler Middle School is a professional learning community with a tradition of service, a culture of collaboration, and a commitment to student learning.

The Cougar Connection

April 2021

Letter from our Principal

Culler Community,

Great news for next year. . .we are bringing AVID to Culler!!  AVID is a select Honors Academic program that seeks students who have historically been under represented in differentiated courses and attending college. It stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.  We will be offering an AVID course during ACES time for each grade level with the following teachers:

  • Angela Smail – 6th grade
  • Te’Arah Parks – 7th grade
  • Alexs Cruz – 8th grade

Northeast has had an AVID program and Lincoln High will be joining next year.  Having AVID in middle school will strengthen the support for students as they go to high school.  Additionally, we will continue to partner with Barb Miller from Lefler in also developing an Honors Cadre for students of color who will also be in AVID.  We believe these programs will help us continue to take action for our desire to continue to build equitable practices for our students!  We are very excited to add this program to our school.

Last week, we held our Parent-Community Engagement meeting and were so pleased with the feedback and support that parents shared with us.  Thanks to the following parents for giving up some of their sacred evening time to meet with us:

  • Alan Boldt
  • Fitsam Abebe
  • Linsey Ziebell
  • Tauana Ferreira de Almeida
  • Mindy Anno
  • Jessica Kuta

We will take your encouragement and suggestions into our planning this summer as we map out the 2021-2022 school year!


Thanks again to all parents for your continued partnership!!

Michaela Hahn
Michaela Hahn


Upcoming Dates

April 2

No School

April 13
Early release at 1:40pm

April 27
Early release at 1:40pm

MTSS-B Information

Dear Culler Families:

We shared some exciting information at our last School Improvement Meeting (SIP). For the school year, our Minor Behavior referrals are down by 60%. Students and teachers have been working hard this year to build relationships and make instruction engaging so that students want to be in class. One way we build relationships is by using empathic listening.  This sketchnote gives a good visual on what it looks like to be an empathic listener!

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Kim Rathe


Students of the Month or Day

7th Grade

Angel Roman Espinoza: is new to Culler but is great at following school expectations to be safe, respectful and responsible.

Easton Henke: is a positive influence in the classroom, he is friendly and always completes his work with his best effort. He has a positive attitude and laughs at my dad jokes, which is a huge plus. Very glad to have him as a student!

Alex Trumblee: Speaks up for others and is hardworking

Azalia Heider: Hard working, asks for help and works well with others.

8th Grade

Devyn Rodriguez: Since returning from Zoom, Devyn has worked hard to stay caught up on assignments and put in extra time to complete class work. It is great to have Devyn back in class!

Eathyn Schroeder: Eathyn has recently returned from zoom and has been a wonderful addition to the classroom. Eathyn is always respectful to myself and his classmates. He has been consistently engaged in classroom learning. 

Alycea Willits: Since joining Culler this year, Alycea learned quickly what it means to be a Cougar and has become a role model for her peers. She works really hard in math class and always puts in effort when things get difficult. We really appreciate her drive and desire to be successful.

Carlos Barrera-Ortega: Carlos is a quiet force in the classroom. He is always respectful to peers/staff and willing to help others. He works hard each day and gives 100% effort.

Alizea Lopez-Alizea is an AWESOME student in science class everyday. She is polite and respectful to everyone in the classroom and always works hard on her assignments to keep her grade up!

Tin Cao: He is always respectful to peers/staff and willing to help others. He works hard each day, provides feedback of his understanding over the lesson and gives 100% effort.

Noah Aguallo: Noah is a respectful and hardworking student. He is helpful to his peers and leads by example.

Dawlat Darweesh: Dawlat is very responsible, respectful and a joy to have in class. She tries her best even when the work is difficult. She also asks great questions when she needs help. An overall awesome Cougar!

Ashton Fischer: Ashton has been an awesome member of the community since he has come to Culler. Participating and being an all around awesome member of the classroom.

Jalynn McGill: Jalynn has been a great addition to the community, just coming back from Zoom, she has added so much to the classroom discussions as well as making me learn more in the process. Looking forward to more insights and participation from her in the future.

Rutha Mohamid: Rutha has been on zoom most of the year, and has just rejoined us in person here at Culler. Rutha has done an amazing job being safe, responsible and respectful all year!

Henry Nguyen: Henry is an in person learner who has engineered his way to the top of the mousetrap car competition and into our hearts. Henry is an excellent learner and not afraid to take risk on the path to seek no ledge.

Daisy Rodriguez Manzano: Daisy has spent the year on lockdown in her house, but guess what? SHE’S BACK! It doesn’t make a difference if Daisy is on zoom or in the room, she has been an amazing example of a dedicated student. She has excelled in class all year and I am super grateful to have her back. I will miss driving to Daisy’s house to drop off books and giving her little sister candy that she refused to share with Daisy. It’s ok Daisy, I won’t share candy with her anymore, only with you! Welcome back, I’m stoked to see your face!

Roochda Kero: She has done a great job completing high quality work and participating in class. I can always count on her to be on task. She’s also been doing an excellent job on our weekly reading assessments.

Aaron Woodruff: Aaron is the only trumpet in 8th grade band this year and has risen to the challenge of carrying the section by himself. He works hard and has a good sense of humor.

Rwaida Ajwaz: Rwaida is always on time, ready to work and gives 100% effort.

Mikhale Ford: In Spanish, Mikhale is an active participant. Any time I ask for a volunteer or draw his participation stick, he is ready to respond or act something out in front of the class. Another reason why Mikhale is an excellent Spanish student is because he’s willing to struggle and make mistakes until he gets it right.

Mustafa Al Turki: Mustafa respects himself, respects everyone else, chooses a positive attitude and comes to class prepared with his best attitude and his best effort.

Cougar Den // Malone Center Events

Hello Cougar Families!

Wow, this year has flown by!

Parents/Guardians, please be on the lookout for a CLC Survey about our program and your student(s)! This is a reminder that our CLC program will continue on until May 20th! Our last day of school is May 21st.

If you have a student who is interested in joining our CLC, please click here to enroll into our program!

Below we will highlight our March CLC Students of the Month! Thank you for showing us how to be safe, responsible, and respectful!

  • Eathyn Schroeder
  • Zander Palmer
  • Josh Tremain
  • Noah Woods
  • Austin Burgess
  • Gay Wah
  • Jasmine Chavez
  • Kole Morgan
  • Andreas Camacho-Felix
  • Alexander Trumblee
  • Addie Bratt
  • Khup Kai
  • Sam Esquivel
  • Celeste Esquivel
  • Nuer Bol
  • Madi Anno
  • Nicole Kuta
  • Vicky Avila

As always, if you have any questions or conerns, please email me at!

7th & 8th Grade Intramurals

Happy April Cougar Families!

Here is the latest information regarding our last athletic season for the school year 2020-21! Track and Field!

Track Meet Dates:

  • April 10: @ LSW
  • April 17: @ LSW
  • April 22 (Thurs.) @ LSW *Time is TBD at this point*
  • May 6/7: Possible 4th meet and will be decided as we get closer.

For the 10th/17th meets, the following events will start at these times.

  • High Jump: 9:00 a.m.
  • Long Jump: 9:30 a.m.
  • Shot Put: 9:30 a.m.
  • Running Events: Begin at 10:30 a.m.

Here are the following guidelines for each track meet regarding the health department restrictions that we have to follow.

  • Each track athlete is allowed 1 spectator (parent) at each track meet. If this would change your athlete will be informed. This will be monitored.
  • A mask, or face covering, is required at all times for people attending track meets. These must cover the nose and mouth.
  • All other virus protocols apply if you or your athlete is not feeling well on the day of the meet.

If you have a son or daughter that would still like to go out for TRACK and FIELD, they certainly may do that! Please get in contact with me, or have your student find me here at school and I will get them all set up. Questions? Please ask away and I’ll be more than happy to assist you.



The Culler Library

Empower learners to be curious, critical, and creative thinkers; enthusiastic readers; skillful researchers; and conscientious digital citizens.

Culler Library Mission

Got eBooks? You do!

Your school library provides many options for students looking for books to read online this summer! One popular option is Sora, which has access to thousands of ebooks for students to check out and read instantly online. You can even access Sora on a tablet or phone, for those long car rides. You can even explore ebooks from the Lincoln City Libraries in Sora. Open this flyer to learn more.

Another option is Teen Book Cloud. Teen Book Cloud is an online collection of ebooks, enhanced novels, graphic novels, videos and audiobooks, which offers students and adults of all reading levels access to an amazing range of content. For more information on these fabulous resources, talk to your school librarian! You can also access Tumblebooks and Sora by going to and typing in your students LPS ID number and password. Happy reading!

Digital Citizenship Tips

An important part of digital citizenship is treating others with respect when online. The harassment of other people online is called “cyberbullying”. Students are taught to talk to a trusted adult if they witness cyberbullying, either directed at themselves or someone else. Ask your student if they have seen cyberbullying online, and check out Common Sense Media’s website for more information on Cyberbullying (

Library Staff

Ms. Haack

Mr. Saddler

ELL Information

Culler ELL Teachers

Mrs. Grace

Mrs. Jurgens-Woitzel

Mr. Pabst

Ms. Petersen

Ms. Munter

Mr. Shanahan

Summer School for ELL Students

All ELL students have the opportunity to attend summer school at Culler this summer. The dates are June 1-June 25 from 8:00-3:00. The morning consists of students rotating through academic areas while the afternoon will consist of enrichment activities provided by CLC. Breakfast, lunch and transportation are all provided.This is an excellent way for students to continue learning English through the summer. To sign up, fill out the Google form at jumpcode O5YU by April 1st.

RAZ Kids for ELL Students

Many parents ask what their child can work on at home to improve their reading. RAZ Kids is a reading program that all students in ELL levels newcomer-2 have access to. Students are able to log on, listen, read, and take quizzes on stories at their reading level. The program automatically moves students up reading levels as they complete stories. Encourage your child to use RAZ Kids at home, even for just 10-20 minutes a night.

Late Bus for ELL Students!

ELL students, who ALREADY receive bussing to and from school because they live outside of the Culler attendance area, have the option to take a late bus that departs at 4:45 in order to stay after school for the Cougar Den after school program, clubs, academic support, and/or intramurals. Students may sign up anytime, but we ask that if your child signs up, they commit to taking it consistently (more than once a week) to keep their name on the list. If interested in the late bus, students should ask their teacher for a permission slip to have you sign and return to school.



Aqeel Fadhil
(402) 436-1715


Sudanese Dialect

Hager Mohamed
(402) 436-1958


Marta Boucher
(402) 436-1763


Khudhur Ali
(402) 436-1994


Kmwe Paw
(402) 436-1434


Toan Tran
(402) 436-1955


Tosh Jock
(402) 436-1892

Russian / Ukrainian

Ellie Kasab
(402) 436-1942


Florence J. Clark Award for Excellence in Middle School Teaching

Our very own Ashlea Jurgens-Woitzel was awarded the Florence J. Clark Award for Excellence in Middle School Teaching.

This Award annually recognizes two outstanding middle school teachers in the Lincoln Public Schools. Middle school teachers honored by the award demonstrate excellence in middle school teaching and work toward continuous improvement in student achievement and development.

Ashlea was nominated twice for this award. Her nominations described her leadership skills and her commitment to supporting the ELL students at Culler. They go on to explain that she is a model teacher, her students are engaged in learning, her enthusiasm for her job, and that she is constantly learning and growing. Lastly, the selection committee was most wowed by how she has stepped up to be a role model and leader at Culler.

View photos from the award ceremony in this gallery!

Spirit Week

Highlights from Spirit Week! View the gallery here!

Culler Counseling

Providing hope for the future, giving students the strength and courage to persevere.

During the month of April counselors at all 3 grade levels will be doing classroom presentations around career and college planning. We will be using resources from the EducationQuest Foundation. EducationQuest Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve access to higher education in Nebraska.

EducationQuest provides free college planning services, need-based scholarship programs, college access grants for high schools, college access resources for middle schools, and outreach services for community agencies. They create college planning materials and distribute them to schools for classroom presentations. Students in grades 6-12 have access to many resources as they plan for their careers and advanced education. You can check out their website at for lots of great information. They have locations in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

6th grade students will be using the Look2College program. This is an early college awareness program designed to help 6th grade students think about what they want to be, how they will get there, and how to pay for college. 7th and 8th graders will use the KnowHow2GO program. KnowHow2GO focuses on early college awareness by promoting three steps 7th and 8th grade students should follow to prepare for college. These are fun and interactive lessons with wonderful activities to help students start thinking about their future.

If you have questions, please contact your student’s counselor.

Margaret Pass
Margaret Pass
Logan Waite
Logan Waite
Sherri Robinson
Sherri Robinson

Technology for Learning

Screen Time

During these days of increased opportunities for remote learning, it’s important to recognize that not all screen time is the same. There is a significant difference between “active” screen time (engaging in focused production of content) and “passive” screen time (consuming entertainment media). The American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends families have thoughtful conversations around the purposes for using digital media and offers an online tool for creating a “personalized family media use plan.”

See the LPS Parent Guide to Student Chromebook Use in LPS for more helpful information and strategies to support your student’s Chromebook use at home.

Testing Season is Upon Us!

It’s said a body needs 8 hours of sleep every night. That’s especially true during testing season. Student Chromebooks also need a good night of charging. Please help your students remember to bring their Chromebooks, fully charged, every day.

Support for Students Learning Remotely

Remote Learning Supports

Stop by the LPS website and enter the word “remote” into the Search, Keyword field in the top-right.

The Student Support page on the Remote Learning site has links to valuable resources to support your student while learning from home. Make sure your students are familiar with the information about how to successfully connect with their teachers using StudentVue.

The Parent and Guardian Support page is filled with valuable information designed to help you help your student. Familiarize yourself with the “10 Remote Learning Things to Know.”

LPS Help Desk is available

Is your student having trouble connecting to their classes? The LPS Help Desk is available to help! Call 402-436-1735 between 7:00am-4:30pm Mon-Fri.

Lux Center Art Scholarships

Our Art teacher, Ms. Shiveley nominated two of our Culler students, Lesli Guerra-Avalos and Dejana Pratt for the Lux Center Art Scholarship and won!

“These two students both have wonderful talent in art; even more importantly they both demonstrated a work ethic I found exceptional. From the beginning of class to the end both Lesli and DJ worked diligently, often asking if they could take work home or even asking if they could create a second and sometimes third project.  I was easily drawn to selecting Lesli and DJ for the LUX scholarship for their desire to learn more about art and their exceptional classroom behavior, dedicated effort and work ethic.”

See some of their art work pictured below:

Art by Dejana

Art by Lesli

Cougar Awards

8th Grade Cougar Award Winners

  • Noah Aguallo
  • Crystal Aguilar
  • Silvia Ahmed
  • Rwaida Ajwaz
  • Mustafa Al Mahmoud
  • Maggie Anderson
  • Jonathan Baker
  • Allie Bean
  • Canaan Beason
  • Zachary Beran
  • Nuer Bol
  • Austin Burgess
  • Tin Cao
  • Aden Christiansen
  • Karen Cortez-Goitia
  • Aaliyah Cuevas
  • Chase Dubas
  • Ashton Fischer
  • Mikhale Ford
  • Tempe Fry
  • Lyric Gans
  • Raul Ernesto Garcia Vides
  • Ethan Garner
  • Franki Godoy Pascoe
  • Jaylen Greaves
  • Ahmed Gubara
  • Jayden Guerra
  • Lesli Guerra-Avalos
  • Wiaam Hakrash
  • Presley Hall
  • Griffen Hennecke
  • Nazar Hlyniuk
  • Jameel Jalmeeran
  • Tya Kalo
  • Roochda Kero
  • Alind Khudhur
  • Wisal Khurmish
  • Premicia Kifiata
  • Roaa Kiret
  • Claudia Licht
  • Khang Ly
  • Camden McWilliams
  • Alexander Mendez Amador
  • Kaycee Meyer
  • Kaylee Milne
  • Rutha Mohamid
  • Fras Naif
  • Henry Nguyen
  • Khoa Nguyen
  • Kya Oltman
  • Rafiella Ortiz
  • Camila Ortiz Ramirez
  • Melissa Phan
  • Po Reh
  • Austin Roberts
  • Daisy Rodriguez Manzano
  • Ava Rowley
  • Jacey Ryan
  • Aiden Salazar
  • Alysha Uttecht
  • Gay Wah
  • Carter Washington
  • Kinsey Wells

7th Grade Cougar Award Winners

  • Sujod Abo Asoud
  • Maab Amon
  • Jolie Antoine
  • Mario Aziz
  • Rahiq Basher
  • Emmett Charles Boldt
  • Billie Brown
  • Colin Copley
  • Ciara Crosgrove
  • Vincent Dao
  • Bell Deloske
  • Tan Do
  • Boone Elam
  • Zoe Ens
  • Fernando Akash
  • Kort Fischer
  • Larry Fosung
  • Averie Freeman
  • Ayanna Freeman
  • Sedona Fry
  • Megan Garcia Barrientos
  • Azalia Heider
  • Faith Hicks
  • Ashya Hollings
  • Shae Htoo
  • Jaquan Hunter
  • Melak Jalemeeran
  • Nevaeh Johnson
  • Payton Jurgensen
  • Jonas Kessler
  • Khup Khai
  • Shareen Khudaida
  • Kallo Komi
  • Riley Kuehn
  • Georges Lombana
  • Kaylee Luke
  • Mohammad Araf Mahmud
  • Vincent Maxwell
  • Lily McEntarffer
  • Cambrie McWilliams
  • Abdullah Mesri
  • Gabby/Kole Morgan
  • Paw Ka Sher Mu
  • Giovanni Nahorny
  • Hunter Neukirch
  • Andrew Nguyen
  • Steven Nguyen
  • Mickeal Ohou
  • Ugo Ononaji
  • Gabriel Ortiz
  • Ryan Parden
  • Sarah Parden
  • Gabby Parker
  • Katie Pearson
  • Ethan Phan
  • Simadra Qahtan
  • Neriah Rife
  • Juan Rivera
  • Evelyeen Robih
  • Deshawn Robinson
  • Angel Roman Espinoza
  • Dylan Rosenthal
  • Jacob Ross
  • Musoda Salih
  • Milky Tadesse
  • Maley Taylor
  • Shateya Taylor
  • Jessica Tran
  • Jenny/Alex Trumblee
  • Sibato Wadiso
  • Nyabor Wiyual

6th Grade Cougar Award Winners

  • Akram Abdulsahib
  • Nsreen Ahmed
  • Jacey Akins
  • Melak Al-Gailani
  • Mohamed Al-Hirez
  • Andrea Alvarez
  • Allison Alvizures Bamaca
  • Moira Andrews
  • Madi Anno
  • Chelsey Armstrong
  • Diak Ater
  • Kiara Austin
  • Jonathan Barlow
  • Logan Bennett
  • Korbin Blake
  • Bryan Bradley
  • Addison Bratt
  • Denver Burchett
  • Layla Burkle
  • Liliana Byrd
  • Asheley Cacho
  • Hayden Caldwell
  • Huyen Cao
  • Maddison Carter
  • Kylie Charbonneau
  • Aydin Colberg
  • Quaedyn Combs
  • Aubrielle Cook
  • Jordon Cote
  • Ivanah Craig
  • Kendrick Dao
  • Chloe Davis
  • JaLeah Divers-Sidney
  • Jason Do
  • Abraham Duffek
  • Carter Duncan
  • Canon Eberhardt
  • Owen Egr
  • Dilshad Elias
  • Isabelle Engstrom
  • Celeste Esquivel
  • Ryan Farritor
  • Ayva Fenster
  • Enid Flores Calleja
  • Ty Grant
  • Hassan Gubara
  • Ahmad Hammad
  • Reel Hamouda
  • Lela Harter
  • Kailyn Hemsath
  • Taylor Hilker
  • Alan Ibrahim
  • Amnah Ishaq
  • Kaydence Janssen
  • Veneen Kiret
  • Aubrianna Kokichi
  • Alma Koti
  • Nicole Kuta
  • Mallory Lassen
  • Mary Le
  • Jayden Ly
  • Michelle Machar
  • Karen Mares
  • Tryston May
  • Harlem McGinnis
  • Zuany Menjivar-Loarca
  • Keegan Milius
  • Emersan Miller
  • Knoasia Moore
  • Angel Morales
  • Joylena Moran
  • Vuong Nguyen
  • Dayton Novy
  • Denzel Occansey
  • Sara Ochoa Rangel
  • Payton Ohlsen
  • Kiana Oltman
  • Kiana Pearson
  • Guadalupe Perez Dominguez
  • Martin Perez Solares
  • Kyleigah Peschel
  • Joel Peterson
  • Alessa Qasim
  • Carlos Ramirez-Alvarez
  • Harper Rathje
  • Diego Recinos Guevara
  • Tadan Rettig
  • Leilani Rivas Bonilla
  • Robert Rodriguez Cordoba
  • Daniela Rojas Morales
  • Mya Rowley
  • Preston Rudolph
  • Sophia Rudolph
  • Connor Sadowski
  • Hanif Salih
  • Marcello Sanchez
  • Aiden Schenk
  • Maliyah Schmid
  • Brody Shada
  • William Sheen
  • Pong Somphatanapong
  • Brecken SpencerBaylee Stout
  • Rabenas Tadesse
  • Oscar Tapia Montes De Oca
  • Lyndyn Tran
  • Joshua Tremain
  • Thang Tuang
  • Adeline Vesely
  • Boh Boe Wah
  • Wal Wal
  • Tyrus Whittle
  • D’Sean Wiley
  • Noah Woods
  • Bode Workman
  • Kais Zidan
  • Leticia Zunun