LPS social worker named Nebraska School Social Worker of the Year

Lincoln Public Schools is proud to have Andrea Phillips, LPS social work coordinator, represent the school district as the 2023 Nebraska School Social Worker of the Year. Phillips was presented with the award in a surprise ceremony on April 25. 

This honor, given by the School Social Work Association of Nebraska, is awarded each year to a school social worker in the state who exemplifies the hard work and dedication of the school social worker profession.

Recipients are nominated by their colleagues and peers, and the final selection is made by a committee of past recipients using a rubric. To qualify for this award, nominees must be currently employed as a Nebraska school social worker, and have at least two years experience as a school social worker. Other considerations include showcasing innovative direct practice, outstanding achievements and contributions to school social work through demonstrated leadership and professional participation, and community involvement and volunteerism.

Phillips was nominated by several of her colleagues at LPS, and an echoing theme throughout the nomination letters was her passion for serving students, families and the community. 

"She is a servant leader and inspires others to be better by empowering them to position themselves as capable in all facets of their lives and career," said Lori Hemmett, LPS supervisor for school counselors and social workers. "She demonstrates daily what it looks and sounds like to be an effective advocate and change agent for students, families, schools and the community."

In a nomination letter from several LPS school social workers, Phillips was also praised for her qualities as a leader. 

"She is always looking out for the well-being of our team members, advocating for their needs and interests, and providing support and guidance when needed," read the nomination letter, signed by 10 LPS school social workers. "Andrea understands the challenges and demands of our job and works tirelessly to ensure that we are equipped with the resources and support we need to provide the highest level of service to our families. A passionate advocate for her staff, Andrea creates a positive and supportive work environment, where team members feel valued, respected, and empowered to make a difference in the lives of those they serve."

Phillips has been a school social worker with LPS since 2014, and serves on several boards in the community that work to provide mental health support and resources to children and families. 

Check out these photos from the surprise announcement!


Published: May 19, 2023, Updated: May 19, 2023