A long-time board member for Beatrice Public Schools, Steve Winter, passed away on Monday, Feb. 22 at Bryan East Hospital of Lincoln at the age of 73.
Winter was born on March 23, 1947 in Beatrice, and graduated from Beatrice High School in 1965. He attended Pershing College in Beatrice and then Tarkio College in Tarkio, Mo., where he received an education degree.
Winter taught social studies at Southern High School for two years before for Al Sederberg at Uhl's Sporting Goods, and then started the Steve Winter Insurance Agency for National Farmers Insurance, retiring in 2013. He served on numerous boards including Main Street, Beatrice Country Club, and the YMCA, and was on the Beatrice Board of Education for over 20 years.
Winter ended his second stint on the school board in December.
At his last meeting, Superintendent Jason Alexander noted that Winter has served on the board three separate times, from 1993-2004, 2007-2010, and 2017-2020, and estimated 40,000 students went through the district during that time.
“He is missed,” assistant superintendent Jackie Nielsen said. “He was a great advocate for our students, a great advocate for the activities in Beatrice, and really helping to spearhead some of those pieces to keep us moving forward. The House of Orange and some of our other building facility projects are because of his help, because of his vision, because of his looking to the future. He was a great, great advocate for Beatrice Public Schools.”
“When we built the House of Orange, when that was under construction, I think he drove out there every day to check on the progress,” board member Lisa Pieper recalled. “And as the trees and bushes and shrubs and everything were planted out there, he would go out and check on those. I think that was probably one of the crowning moments of his board career.”
Pieper said that Winter was a mentor to her when she joined the board 12 years ago, calling him a consummate boardsman. She said his involvement and passion for athletics will be remembered, but that he also focused on bond issues, the transition of Cedar Elementary to Beatrice Community Preschool, and improving the district’s special education program.
“Steve was always right there working towards making things better for the kids of our district, as far as facilities and educational offerings,” Pieper said. “He was a proud alumni, and he did a lot not only for the schools but for our community, as well.”
Nielsen said she knew Winter as she grew up in the community, and enjoyed working with him for six years to help improve the Beatrice school system.
At his last board meeting, Pieper read a statement from Winter that said it was an honor and privilege to have been a part of the school district, that he made lifelong friends with many of the district’s board members and superintendents, and that he hopes the successes he’s seen as a board member continue for years to come.