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

November 2021

Letter from our Principal

Thanks for a great first quarter! While experiencing a 2nd year in a pandemic is not ideal for any of us, I am continually surprised by the resiliency and optimism that can be found in our community of learning!

Thanks to the parents who attended our First Parent-Community Engagement meeting for this school year. We have 3 more scheduled this year via zoom and alternate times between 6 and 7 pm.

  • November 3rd @ 6:00 p.m.
  • January 20th @ 7:00 p.m.
  • April 21st @ 6:00 p.m. – Title 1 Parent Mtg also


Thanks for your continued partnership!!

MAP Scores in Synergy
MAP Growth Reading and Math and MAP Fluency scores for students who tested this fall are now available in Synergy. You can access student results in Synergy ParentVUE. Here are some directions.

Michaela Hahn
Michaela Hahn


Upcoming Dates

November 1
Spirit Week-Pajama Day

November 2
Spirit Week-Twin Day

November 3
Spirit Week-Equity Day

November 3
Parent/Teacher Conferences

November 4
Spirit Week-Throwback

November 5
Spirit Week-Formal

November 5
7th grade dance (4:30-6:00)

November 10
Food Market 3:05-3:30pm

November 21
Malone Ctr Holidy Food Giveaway (11:00 – 3:00)

November 24–November 26
No School

November 30
PLC Dismissal- 1:40pm

MTSS-B Information

Hello Cougar Families:

There has been a lot of studies done about the most effective praise-to-criticism ratio. For students, that ideal ratio is 4:1. In other words, for each bit of corrective feedback, there should be a minimum of four positive comments to balance it out. At Culler, this is so important that each staff member partnered with another staff member and we tallied each other over a 15 minute period. Did you know this is a strategy that you can use at home? Students (and even adults!) respond best when we are sprinkling our correctives with a lot of positivity. When you give your praise, it is most effective when it is behavior specific. For example, I am impressed by how well you cleaned up your room or that was a really challenging problem that you finished. The specific praise goes a long way in encouraging the behavior to be repeated until it becomes a pattern. I really appreciate that you are reading my whole section of the newsletter. Do you see what I did there?

Please let me know if you have questions,

Kim Rathe
MTSS-B Liason

Most Improved Cougars (MICA) & Students of the Month

MICA Award Winners

Sarah Ali
Fredy Rios Camarena
Timmy Baker
Kyleigah Peschel
Andreas Camacho Felix
Ronnie Rice

Students of the Month

Elias Smith
Bailey Mertz
Zoey Long
Huyen Cao

Cougar Den // Malone Center Events

Hello Cougar Families!

Second quarter is underway and so is our CLC program! Unfortunately, we are closing enrollment until further notice. If you would still like to sign your student up, please send an email to to have your student put on our waitlist.

The Malone Center is going to have a Holiday Food giveaway; turkey & food bags for up to 900 families! There will also be live music! We are also giving away, along with food, free coats, hats, gloves, socks and underwear. We will have resource booths available, as well as free food & more! Please check the flyer below for more information. The date is Sunday, November 21st, 2021 from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The event will be held at Saint Paul United Methodist Church (1144 M ST, Lincoln, NE, 68508).

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.


CLC Students of the Month

Kwayde, Brody, Jazlyn, Noah, Zoey, BryaJanae, Madicyn, Shyterica, Angel, Khup, Andrew, Brennen, Darion, and Josh!

Holiday Food Giveaway

Visionary Youth in Partnership with Malone Center Presents the 2nd Annual Community Outreach Holiday Food Giveaway!

Sunday, November 21st, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1144 M Street, Lincoln, NE 68508

Turkey and Food Bags for up to 900 Families! First Come, First Served — Limit one turkey per household.

Activities: Live music, Free coat, hat, gloves, socks and underwear. Free resource booths, free food and more!

Thanksgiving basket will include:

  • 3 Boxes of Macaroni and Cheese
  • 2 16oz cans of green beans
  • 2 boxes of stuffing
  • 2 boxes of mashed potatoes
  • 2 16 oz cans of cranberry sauce
  • 2 boxes of bisquick or jiffy mix
  • 1 box of cake mix
  • 1 frosting mix
  • 1 pumpkin pie
  • 1 frozen turkey

7th & 8th Grade Intramurals

Greetings Culler Families!

Happy November!

Our girls basketball season is underway and here are the following games that are taking place in November!

Nov. 6th vs. Park MS @ Irving
11 a.m and 12 p.m.

Nov. 13th vs. Dawes MS @ Scott
11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Nov. 20th vs. Irving MS @ Mickle
11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

If you have any questions about girls basketball, or Culler Athletics, please give me a call or email here at school! Here’s to a great November!!


Jeff Williams
Athletic Director

The Culler Library

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

Culler Library Mission

Diverse Books for All!

Are you looking for books with diverse characters and themes? The MOSAIC is an annual collection of high interest diverse books for preschool through high school students reviewed by LPS librarians.

  • Look for the MOSAIC Multicultural Book Display link on your school library website.
  • Browse the collection and download the ebooks or audiobooks.
  • Want a print copy of a book? Ask your school librarian!

Digital Citizenship Tips

Would you like to have a conversation with your student about staying safe online? Here are some questions to get the conversation started:

  • What information should we share with others online and what information should we avoid sharing online (address, phone number, passwords, and other personal information)?
  • What websites should we use when we go online?
  • How can you protect your digital reputation?

Library Staff

Ms. Haack

Mr. Saddler

ELL Information

Culler ELL Teachers

Mrs. Jurgens-Woitzel

Mr. Pabst

Ms. Petersen

Mrs. Rodell

Mr. Shanahan

Ms. Westlund

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


Mooku Taw
(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.

6th Grade

Welcome to Quarter 2, Class of 2028 parents & guardians! We made it through the first quarter with flying colors. I am proud of the way 6th graders are advocating for themselves and for each other. You have taught them well! Strong bonds are forming between students and they are collaborating to help each other in their classes. For some, the collaboration model is new and they are loving it!

Our last to lunch list is getting longer, as is our CRC list. If students are late to classes, they are last to lunch on the next school day. If students do not complete their work in a timely manner, they are assigned CRC so that they have a dedicated time to get it done. Please impress upon your students the importance of being on time to class and turning in their work on time. We very much appreciate your partnership!

I am working with our school resource officer to present a lesson on cyber-safety. We will talk with students about ways they can stay safe online. My goal is to go into classrooms sometime in November. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or issues that may come up. Happy November!

Sherri Robinson
Sherri Robinson

7th Grade

7th grade Counselor News
Next week I will be in classrooms to present a lesson about empathy and integrity in regards to social interactions with peers. I’m sure we all remember our awkward middle school years and cringe from things that we said and did or things that were said and done towards us as well. Middle school is a very important time for developing friendships and learning to navigate social situations. Social media and cell phone use have also complicated this for our youth.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. When our students empathize with others they are more likely to be kind and accepting of all of their peers. Integrity is knowing right from wrong and being able to choose the right way to handle a situation even when it is difficult. Empathy and integrity are so important as our students make their way through middle school and into high school. Helping students to demonstrate empathy and integrity will encourage kindness and acceptance making school a safe environment where lasting friendships and life long learning can occur for all students.

Margaret Pass
Margaret Pass

8th Grade

Welcome to Quarter 2, 8th grade parents & guardians! High school choice is quickly approaching — can you believe it? All LPS 8th graders have the right to choose the high school they will attend, and high school enrollment is coming up. It is important that you have discussions with your students about which high school is right for them. Check the First Steps to High School document for all things high school. Peruse the high school websites, check out the focus programs, and help your child make an educated decision about their high school choice. The high school choice form is due on January 31.

Science Focus Program Open House will be Nov 2 with two repeat sessions: 5-6 p.m. – Session 1, 6-7 p.m. – Session 2
1222 S 27th St, Lincoln, NE 68502

Directions: We will be in the Science Focus Program Multipurpose Room – just follow the signs when you park in the main Zoo lot. If needed, there is overflow parking across A street from the zoo.

Arts and Humanities Open House will be held Nov 9, 6-7 p.m.
643 S 25th St, Ste 15

Directions: Look for the very bright mural and the logo “Arts and Humanities” painted on the building -we are along the bike path with the entrance behind the building you are directed to by the address

Stay tuned for more information, and if you have questions please feel free to contact me.

Logan Waite
Logan Waite

Technology for Learning

Accessing Class Information in ParentVUE

Parents and students can access Class Information (course description, grading practices, class tips, etc) on the web (preferred) or via the mobile app. Step-by-step directions can be found on this document or in these video tutorials.

Screen Time

Did you know 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.

Culler Artists

By Ceslie Viana Sanchez

By Akira Moody

By Akira Moody

Learning Moments Captured

In math foundations, students are working in small groups to sort numbers from least to greatest.

AVID Corner

Ms. Kokrda’s 7th Grade AVID class spent two days last week developing their group work skills. They specifically focused on the question, “What unique qualities do I bring to group work?”