Honors and Awards

St. Margaret Mary School is full of bright teachers and staff devoted to the education of our students from kindergarten to 8th grade. The community has offered special recognition for these outstanding faculty leaders.

Barb Gilman

Mrs. Barb Gilman teaches 3 grade at St. Margaret Mary.

Cover feature Catholic Teacher Magazine Fall 2016

barb gillman cover

Saint Margaret Mary’s 3rd grade teacher, Barb Gilman, is featured on the cover of September’s issue of Catholic Teacher magazine. Gilman is honored for her dynamic work building community for both students and educators throughout the world. Gillman, a wife and mother of three, says she loves teaching in a Catholic school and is passionate about keeping up with the latest teaching research as well as meeting people who can help her.


While most of her 3rd grade students are still tucked in at 8 am Saturday mornings, teacher Barb Gilman is visiting with other Catholic teachers from around the world on Catholic EdChat. Gilman, along with Nancy Caramanico, host the Twitter chat. Their audience includes administrators, diocesan officials, and teachers from across the world- even Sydney, Australia!

Nearly 8000 Catholic educators follow Gilman on Twitter and have also heard her present the last few years at the National Catholic Education Association conference. Gilman credits her collaboration with other educators on Twitter and at conferences for “reenergizing me every week.”

“As a teacher you can be very isolated with your students in the classroom. Every week I almost always come away with one good idea from the chat,” says Gilman.

2014 NCEA Distinguished Teacher for the Plains States

In 2014, she was awarded the NCEA Distinguished Teacher for the Plains States. “I love Catholic education and I believe we need to enrich and empower other Catholic teachers with the latest research and advice.” Gilman may also be found at Catholic EdCamp, which she helped start, at Creighton University each summer. You can also find her monthly blog post for Loyola Press- http://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/author/barb.


Sheri Vollmer

Mrs. Sheri Vollmer teaches Physical Education to all grades, k-8 at St. Margaret Mary School.

2016 Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award




Saint Margaret Mary’s School Receives 2016 “Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award For Helping Students go From Zero to Sixty”

“Let’s Move! Active Schools,” part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “ Let’s Move!” initiative, honored Saint Margaret Mary’s School as one of only three in Nebraska with the 2016 “Let’s Move! Active Schools” National Award. The “Let’s Move!” campaign is dedicated to ensuring 60 minutes of physical activity a day as the norm in K-12 schools.  Learn more about the program at  http://www.letsmoveschools.org.

“You have to engage kids at all levels to be successful,” says Mrs. Sheri Cohen Vollmer, Physical Education/Health instructor at SMM. “I love to watch those ‘Aha Moments’ when a student says ‘I can do this’.”

Vollmer joined the staff at Saint Margaret Mary’s School in 2014. She credits the award to the community support she has received, “We have had parents, teachers, and administration on board to focus on every student falling in love with fitness for life.” Vollmer says the key to creating this love is to give students help at every level so they realize what they can achieve in fitness, and find at least one thing they could love for the rest of their lives.


The “Let’s Move!” Award is a two-year designation and SMM School met significant benchmarks in five areas: physical education, physical activity before and after school; physical activity during school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement. The President’s Council on Fitness will provide school champions with continued information, resources, and inspiration needed to build healthier lives for future generations.

A banner will be provided to the school along with a National Award Certificate and congratulatory letter from the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Linda Coates

Mrs. Linda Coates teaches mathematics to 7th, 8th and some 6th grade students. She directs the Math Counts program and provides coaching for math competitions.

Mrs. Coates has accumulated a list of awards throughout the her career in Math.

  • Aksarben Ike Friedman Educational Leadership Award
  • Peter Kiewet Foundation for Excellence in Teaching Award
  • NCEA Distinguished Teacher Award for the Plains State
  • Metro Elementary Teacher of the Year for the Omaha Archdiocese
  • Edith Sliffe Award for Mathematics
  • Cable’s Leaders in Learning National Award
  • State Finalist for Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching
  • National Awardee for Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching

In addition to these fine honors, she can show you a trophy case full of awards won by her Math students at community wide competitions.