Dr. Steve Joel, superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools -- the second largest school district in Nebraska -- will be the featured speaker at Doane College's winter commencement ceremony Sunday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. in the George and Sally Haddix Recreation and Athletic Center on the Crete campus.
The ceremony is for graduate students in the Master of Arts in Counseling, Master of Arts in Management, and Master of Education programs. Doane will confer degrees to an estimated 150 graduate students.
Dr. Steve Joel is superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools. For Joel, a 1976 Doane graduate, accepting a football scholarship to Doane was a turning point in his life. His parents encouraged him to take Doane's offer instead of one from a local community college in his native New York state. He agreed to attend for one semester and has remained in Nebraska ever since.
He graduated with a bachelor's in history education and later earned his master's degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While working as a superintendent in Troy, Kan., Joel added a doctoral degree in education from Kansas State University to his credentials.
In 2010, Joel was selected by the Lincoln Board of Education to serve as superintendent for Lincoln Public Schools. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as superintendent of Grand Island Public Schools and eight years as superintendent of Beatrice Public Schools.
Joel has been described as passionate, energetic, dynamic and a strong advocate for children. "Every student every day a success" is his motto.
While superintendent at Grand Island, Joel brought the TeamMates mentoring program into the district, realizing its potential to improve the performance of disadvantaged students. He even became a mentor himself.
Joel's work in education has earned him recognition at the state level and from his alma mater. In 2000, he received the state Superintendent of the Year Award, and in 2001 he was selected Doane's Alumni Educator of the Year.
Joel is married to Linda, an elementary counselor. They have two grown children, Melissa and Derrick, who both graduated from Doane.