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Draeger to receive Honor D Award at Homecoming

Draeger to receive Honor D Award at Homecoming

Dawn Draeger ’94

Growing up in Ruskin, Nebraska and now living in Crete, Dawn Maschmann Draeger ’94, ’00E, ’05E has always valued the roots of what makes a small community so special.


After graduating from Deshler High School in 1990, Dawn elected to attend Doane without much hesitation. Her father and uncle both went to Doane and had such great experiences that she always figured it would be the right place for her.


She went to Doane on a track scholarship, competing in the 400 and relay events. Longtime Doane track and field coaches Fred Beile, Ed Fye, and Dave Dunnigan all played a big role in her time at Doane. Dawn’s father and uncle competed on the Doane track team under Coach Beile and her son, Turner, currently runs track for the Tigers.


Academically, Dawn was a biology major and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Doane in 1994. Initially, she had aspirations of becoming a physical therapist. Her junior year, she was accepted into the first ever class of Creighton’s doctorate of physical therapy program, but ultimately changed her mind and declined the invitation. As irony would have it, her oldest daughter, Morgan Hill ’17, is a current student in the physical therapy program at UNMC.


While Dawn’s road led her to education, a little different venture than what she had initially envisioned, she has no regrets about her career decisions to this day. Dawn taught science for 21 years, teaching at Omaha North and Crete High School.


In 2017, Dawn became a guidance counselor at Crete High School, a role she currently holds. Dawn also served as a Resident Director at Doane two different times in her career, first from 1994-1996 and most recently from 2000-2002. The first time she was a Resident Director, Dawn and her husband at the time lived in Sheldon Hall with Morgan when she was a baby.


Dawn has earned two master’s degrees from Doane and is nearing the completion of her third. Dawn earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane in 2000 and a Master’s of Educational Leadership in 2005. She is currently in the Master of Education in School Counseling program, which she anticipates to finish next year.


As someone who has earned three degrees from Doane and sent two of her children to Doane, she has a very strong connection to the university. Dawn’s father, uncle, husband, two kids (Morgan and Turner), sister, brother-in-law, two sister-in-laws, and her uncle’s two daughters have all graduated from Doane.


Dawn’s middle child, Camry (age 11), has already joked that she knows she will attend Doane after she graduates high school.


After being a single mom for eight years, Dawn was remarried to Brandon Draeger in 2006. Dawn has five children - Morgan (24), Turner (22), Camry (11), Kynleigh (10), and Keaton (9). Dawn and her husband Brandon have also taken in three other children who have lost one of their parents.


Dawn’s servant life can be seen wherever she goes - whether that’s at home or at work. She endured some difficult adversity growing up, losing both of her brothers in separate car accidents when she was younger. Right before she attended Doane one of her brothers died in a car accident, and in November of her freshman year, her other brother was killed in a car accident. Dawn says the push from her parents and the support she received from Doane when she was a student kept her from dropping out, something she wanted to do at the time.


“Everyone was so compassionate,” Dawn said. “It was a trying time but I got the emotional support I needed.”  


Dawn believes the difficult times she has gone through can benefit her in her current role, as she is able to relate to students who are struggling emotionally.


“I feel like my job gives me the opportunity to give back and pay it forward, after others helped me during my trying times,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to help other people. I am also very thankful that my parents raised me in a Christian home. The foundation for my life has been rooted in my faith.”


Dawn is also involved with Crete Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Healing Hearts Therapy Dog team, and the McKinney Vento project, which helps serve homeless children in the school district.