The teaching awards just keep coming in to Lyndsay Hartmann, a middle school science and English literature teacher at St. Patrick’s Catholic School in northeast Lincoln.
In October, the Lincoln Journal Star reported that Hartmann won the prestigious Milken Educator Award. Recently, she received another teaching award when she was named Teacher of the Month by the Lincoln East Rotary Club and U.S. Bank. She received $100 each from East Rotary and U.S. Bank, with one of the awards covering the purchase of classroom materials and the other for her personal use.
Teaching may be in Hartmann’s blood. After all, her mother, a grandmother, a grandfather and several uncles were educators. But upon graduating from Lincoln Pius X High School, she didn’t want to pursue a teaching career just because other family members had done it.
“I avoided going into education, because I didn’t want to think I was doing it because I was ‘supposed to’ do it – it felt like a family trade, after all,” Hartmann said. “So after high school, I instead went to school for computer programming at Southeast Community College. I have a passion for technology and how it makes life easier, but I wasn’t getting out of it what I had hoped, so I left the program.”
She also dabbled in a career in food service, having worked at Valentino’s through high school and while attending SCC. After discontinuing her studies at SCC, she was promoted to manager at Valentino’s.
“As time went on, I was not satisfied living a life working in food service, so I decided it was time to pursue a degree,” Hartmann said. She enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. She was hired at St. Patrick’s in 2014 – the same year as Principal Kristine Placek.
“Lyndsay is a natural-born leader,” Placek said. “She came in and helped re-form the junior high to truly prepare the students for the high school experience.”
As an example, Hartmann started a reading mentor program that enables students in grades 6-8 to be leaders working with first-graders.
“This program has shown some real leaders in our junior high,” Placek said. “I love Lyndsay’s passion and zeal for all that she does. She sees the big picture in our school and makes it happen.”
Sarah Swim, a third-grade teacher at St. Patrick’s, noted that Hartmann also created and built the Science Fair for grades 6-8 from the ground up. “She has improved and perfected it over the last four years to run flawlessly,” Swim said.
Tom Rajewski, a sixth-grade homeroom teacher, said that Hartmann was his mentor during his first year of teaching in 2018-19.
“Her expertise and insight have been invaluable in helping me discover my role as a teacher and grow as an educator,” he said. “Lyndsay’s focus as an educator can be summed up in one word: ‘relationships.’”
Rajewski shared that Hartmann values each student and strives to foster strong relationships to help them grow academically, socially and spiritually. She also works hard to build relationships with her fellow colleagues, he said.
A Lincoln native and the oldest of 11 siblings, Hartmann said she is grateful that her life’s experiences finally led her to become a teacher.
“Teaching is one of the most gratifying experiences I have ever had,” she said. “There is absolutely nothing that compares to the controlled chaos of a productive classroom.”
Lyndsay is married to Brad Hartmann, a transportation supervisor at Sysco Lincoln. They have two children: Natalie, 8, and Calvin, 5.