Spotlight Writer-Katrina Gotschall

Katrina Lee Gotschall

O’Neill High School in O’Neill, Nebraska

Writing Sample (This I Believe)

woman behind page of textCurrent Teaching Assignment

I am nearing the conclusion of my 5th year of teaching at O’Neill High School in O’Neill, Nebraska.  In my time there, I have taught primarily sophomore and junior level English classes, as well as Current Events and Yearbook Design.  I am also a Junior Class sponsor and OHS “Hot Shots” Photography Club sponsor.

NeWP Involvement

My friend and colleague Jenny Troester invited me to attend my first writing marathon in January 2009.  I was hooked!  What a magnificent group of people, and what a wonderful program!  I applied to enter the summer writing institute for 2009 and was accepted.  This experience changed my life.  I rediscovered the joy in the writing process and learned how to be a better teacher of writing by looking at myself as a writer.  In fall 2009, I joined the Place Conscious Education course and continued developing my writing and teaching strategies. Most recently, my colleague Jenny and I applied to join the Rural Sites Network Workshop in Arizona for summer 2010, and hopefully, if accepted, we will be able to learn how to better serve our school as well as other rural sites through designing some innovative online community tools that can help remove some of the isolation of teaching at a rural school. 


I was raised in a small central Nebraska community named Weissert and am born from a legacy of ranching, a legacy that began in the late 1870s.  My rural education plays an important role in my personal and teaching life, as I firmly believe that rural education is a misunderstood and underestimated treasure.  I married my college sweetheart, and now we, along with our two beautiful boys Carter (4) and Alex (1), have made our home in Atkinson. Our small Sandhills community offers friendly neighbors, great community service projects, progressive rural economic development opportunities, continuing education, and beautiful scenery.  It is a wonderful place to raise a family.  Most recently, I decided to develop my photography hobby into a photography business, which excites me a great deal!  I love photojournalism and wide-open spaces, so I hope to be able to marry my creative passions for writing and images and someday create a book that illustrates rural life in writing and photographs.

Educational History

2002:  BA - Anthropology-University of Nebraska - Lincoln
2004:  Teaching Certification-Secondary Social Studies and              English/Language Arts - Doane College
2005:  Master of Education Curriculum and Instruction - Doane College