Professional OpportunitiesNBEA Award Winners


Recognizing Excellence in Business Education

Each year NBEA accepts nominations for outstanding individuals for the following award categories:

Middle School Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a middle school business educator.

Secondary Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a secondary business educator.

Postsecondary Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a postsecondary business educator.

Collegiate or University Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a senior college or university business educator.

Distinguished Service Award for an Administrator or Supervisor [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by an administrator or supervisor of business education.

Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by an institution, organization, business firm, government agency, or individual associated with any of these groups.

For more information about eligibility for this award or to obtain a nomination form, please contact NBEA at 703.860.8300 or



The 2015 NBEA Award winners:

Shelly Mowinkel
Middle School Teacher of the Year

Shelly Mowinkel from Milford Public Schools in Milford, Nebraska, was named NBEA Middle School Teacher of the Year.

In 1992 Warner Brothers released a movie called The Power of One. The movie told the story of a young English boy and his passion for helping to build a better future. Through her passion for innovation, Shelly Mowinkel also became a force of one and has received multiple awards for her excellence in teaching. Her work is changing how people in her district think about and use technology in instruction, and this change will ultimately build a better future for students in business education.

As a newly minted business educator, Mrs. Mowinkel chose to transform her role as classroom teacher to knowledge facilitator, and her classroom from one of isolation into one where students engage with the outside world. Her students use tablets to learn and collaborate with each other. They become content creators, not just content consumers, producing digital citizenship presentations, podcasts, and websites—and sharing their work with real-life audiences.

Now as a seasoned educator, Mrs. Mowinkel works closely with other middle school teachers to incorporate technology into other academic areas. She mentors staff one-on-one and leads inservice programs that showcase technology use “across the curriculum.” Recently, she taught an English teacher’s students how to transform a paper résumé into a digital résumé and work portfolio. She has also taught teachers outside her district how to create personal learning networks using social media tools.

Mrs. Mowinkel's passion for education extends to her memberships in state, professional, and community organizations. She has presented at regional and national workshops and conventions, in webinars, and in video conferences. Her work as a curriculum writer has influenced her state’s information technology standards and its entrepreneurship curriculum. She has sponsored numerous students in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and created, with her hometown, a community service project on cancer awareness. This project has raised more than $20,000 for cancer research.

Shelly Mowinkel's colleagues praise her ability to create a sense of contagious confidence in her students, and they thank her for convincing the district to prioritize getting current technology into teachers’ hands. According to her district’s curriculum director, “Obviously people attend her presentations to learn how to integrate technology into instruction, but they come away with much more. They learn that it is possible for one teacher to impact the students in an entire district by reshaping the district’s pedagogical contours.”

Dennis R. Krejci
Secondary Teacher of the Year

Dennis R. Krejci from Tri County High School in DeWitt, Nebraska, was named NBEA Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Dennis Krejci is admired by students and colleagues as an outstanding role model who goes above and beyond to support, inspire, and encourage students—a teacher every school district would love to have.

He began his career at a small rural high school where typing was taught on a manual typewriter. Office technology was just emerging, yet he convinced his administration that getting a desktop computer could enhance learning. He started with one, and soon built a computer lab of 12—a sizable investment for the times.

His leadership kept the business department at his school viable and vigorous. He strengthened the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter he inherited; under his guidance, four of his students served as state officers and 16 students placed in the top 10 of their events, two of them placing first. He became certified in financial literacy and insurance, and then persuaded the administration to make personal finance a required course for all seniors. The school has now been recognized as a “Blue Star School” by the New York-based W!SE organization, meaning that a majority of students passed the certification test with a score of at least 80%. He has also set a high standard for citizenship: he volunteers as a Red Cross instructor, participates in the Adopt-a-Highway Project, and aids his school’s fundraising activities for March of Dimes. Students respect him as the teacher who takes the time to stay in touch with graduates, so that he can help them achieve their goals.

Mr. Krejci's “leadership through service” ethic reaches beyond his school to professional organizations. “[Professional] meetings provided me with great opportunities to network, as well as to learn new strategies from veteran teachers,” he says. Those meetings were a lifeline for the one-man business department he was when he started his career—and he found ways to give back. He has contributed to multiple organizations in numerous roles: committee member, newsletter editor, task force member, officer, and executive board member. He served on the first Governing Council for the National Business Honor Society, helped update his state’s business education frameworks, and received a grant of $329,000 to enhance critical thinking through technology. He is often sought out by colleagues for collaboration because of his strong thinking and communication skills.

Mr. Krejci's passion for business education and his willingness to be involved inspires colleagues and students alike.

JaderstromKimberly A. Schultz
Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

Kimberly A. Schultz from Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was named NBEA Postsecondary Business Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Schultz raises the bar for professionals in her field. She is an accomplished educator, an expert on assessment, a visionary leader, a tireless advocate for business education, and a dedicated role model.

She consistently holds students to high standards and entices them out of their comfort zones—and they respond. One student told her, “My perfect description [of what you do] would be ‘tough love.’ You are always willing to help but you aren’t going to make it easy on us.”

A believer in authentic assessment, Mrs. Schultz's classroom simulates the work environment. She favors project-based instruction over tests, and meaningful feedback from industry professionals over grades alone. Instead of a final exam, for example, her students create portfolios that show whether they have met course objectives.

She led efforts to tighten curriculum, spearhead changes in internship programs, and update course technology applications. She required curriculum team leaders to rotate leadership responsibilities, including using virtual meeting software to host online meetings. She upgraded her institution’s management information systems academy with an IT Essentials course. And, she improved how interns were evaluated by employers and infused social media and apps into office administration courses.

Kimberly Schultz advocates for business education by serving student and professional organizations and advising her local school district. Her Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter grew and extended its scope of service to the community by supporting troops in Iraq, by donating books to local elementary schoolchildren, and by assisting other nonprofit organizations. Thirteen BPA members earned the top “Ambassador” award for their work. She has held offices in state, regional, and national professional business organizations and published articles in their journals. Her work with the school district’s curriculum improvement committee saved and modernized her local high school’s business education department.

Her personal example inspires her students. A recent student wrote that Mrs. Schultz had taught her patience, saying, “At one point I had to work in a group with a [difficult] student and it pushed me to my limits. I pulled upon what I had seen [her do], to not only make it through the experience but learn how to best handle working with diverse people in the future.”


KyleBarbara E. Hagler
Collegiate Teacher of the Year

Barbara E. Hagler from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, was named NBEA Collegiate Business Teacher of the Year. Many have probably heard the advice to "say yes to life." Barbara Hagler has made a career of saying “Yes!” to business education, and the profession has been richer for it.

Dr. Hagler has “yes” to service, insisting that the “value of membership in professional organizations far outweighs the cost.” She joined Pi Omega Pi when she was an undergraduate and participated in other professional organizations during her 30-year career. She has presented at national conferences, served as a reviewer for journals and NBEA yearbooks, and held local and national office. Her university appointed her to numerous committees, most of which she has eventually chaired. Community businesses consult her when they are starting databases and computer billing, and even the Girl Scouts and 4H have benefitted from her knowledge and skills.

She says "yes" to scholarship, having written for such publishers as Pearson and IGI Global, and having published numerous articles in the Business Education Forum, Journal of Research in Business Education, the NBEA Yearbook, and the Business Teacher Education Journal. In the information systems field, her work is considered “cutting edge,” and she is recognized as an expert in technology, research methodology, online learning, and assessment. Over the course of her career, she has been awarded more than $702,000 in grants and has been recommended for critical leadership positions in research projects, policies commissions, and training initiatives.

Dr. Hagler has also said "yes" to engaged and exemplary teaching, consistently scoring high on student evaluations. A colleague who is also her former student and co-author wrote, “Her passion for teaching has inspired generations of young scholars to question the unknown, seek truth, and help others find their role in business education.” She has supervised more than 120 graduate students’ research papers and theses, and she has served on more than 35 dissertation committees. Like all good teachers everywhere, she takes pride in her students’ success, and several of them stay in touch and update her on their personal and professional achievements as they move on in their lives.

Kelly Scholl
Distinguished Service Award for a Supervisor of Business Education

Kelly Scholl, business education supervisor in the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education, Bismarck, North Dakota, received the award for Distinguished Service by a Supervisor of Business Education.

Ms. Scholl has been involved in business education since she was a teenager. She started her leadership career with Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) in high school and joined Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) during her college years, serving as a state officer. As a professional, she has continued to be recognized for her achievements as a business educator at the high school, college, and state levels, and for her service to the field, the profession, and the business education community.

Business educators recognize her for taking the lead in consistently improving curriculum and instruction. As an example, she chaired the national committee to develop Finance Cluster pathways as part of her state’s career cluster initiative. She also led the creation of new courses for the Management and Accounting pathways. She was active in developing the Transition to Teaching Program, which helps qualified candidates find alternative routes to being certified in business education. She was also instrumental in developing new teacher resource packages, postsecondary teacher certification guidelines, and online fiscal policies impacting all CTE programs in her state.

The profession benefits from her enthusiastic promotion of business education. She participates and presents workshops at professional education conferences, and she publicizes business education using both traditional and social media. She educates legislators about career and technical education (CTE) during a week-long “CTE in Memorial Hall” event, where schools bring students to the state capitol to showcase their CTE programs. She also educates Congress about Perkins legislation and advocates for requiring financial literacy education in the curriculum.

Kelly Scholl's colleagues praise her active participation in professional associations. She willingly takes on leadership roles such as planning, developing, and managing statewide FBLA and PBL conferences—and collaborating on the delivery of an annual professional development conference for her state’s CTE teachers. As one of her colleagues states, “She has always been an excellent resource for me, especially when I was a brand new teacher, [giving me] curriculum suggestions, introducing me to other business education instructors in the state, and [making herself] available to attend meetings in support of the local business education program in my district.” Another colleague adds, “She has great rapport with the teachers; she has earned their respect. She does not work for personal gain; rather she works for the betterment of business education.”