Scholarship Luncheon Press Release

JoAnn Deak, PhD

JoAnn Deak, PhD

Noted Educator, Psychologist and Author of Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, JoAnn Deak, PhD, to Speak at 2015 Phoenix Academy Scholarship Luncheon

Omaha, Neb. – Phoenix Academy is proud to announce JoAnn Deak as the keynote speaker for the 2015 Scholarship Luncheon to be held onFriday, October 2 at Hilton Omaha. Dr. Deak’s book, “Your Fantastic Elastic Brain” teaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains and delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning. Education Associations, teachers and parents have heralded Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identity formation and brain research.

Phoenix Academy Executive Director Nancy Liebermann said, “We are thrilled to present Dr. JoAnn Deak as the featured speaker for our 2015 luncheon. Phoenix Academy is a non-profit private school for kindergarten through eighth-grade students who need explicit, multisensory, direct instruction in reading and math.” Liebermann explained, “We are committed to helping students achieve the academic skills needed to be successful in the classroom.”

Liebermann added “Phoenix Academy really embraces JoAnn’s message that making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns to grow and that, with the right tools and perseverance, all children can experience success.”

Phoenix Academy educates and inspires students with learning differences to achieve academic success. It is a full-day school that fulfills its mission by using a phonics-based education model. Most Phoenix Academy students are one or more school years behind in reading and/or math, so addressing each child’s individual learning style and needs is paramount, as is providing a nurturing learning community.

Proceeds from the Luncheon will be used to provide scholarships to students who otherwise would not be able to receive the specialized assistance offered by Phoenix Academy. Of the school’s diverse student population, 70 percent qualify for financial assistance and 45 percent qualify for free or reduced lunches.

In addition to featuring Deak’s presentation, the luncheon will also recognize two champions of literacy in the Omaha community. Michael B. Yanney will receive the 2015 Holland Literacy Advocate Award and Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, will be the recipient of the 2015 Mactier/Clark Literacy Educator Award.

The Holland Literacy Advocate Award is presented for advocacy work that creates and increases awareness, resources, and dedication to advancing literacy and education. For more than 25 years, Michael B. Yanney has given his time, energy and resources to disadvantaged youth.  The Mactier/Clark Literacy Educator Award recognizes work that advances proficiency in literacy and education. Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, was selected for the honor in recognition of her contributions to Omaha’s secondary school and university communities.

Tickets for the Phoenix Academy Scholarship Luncheon are now on sale, and all proceeds will support student scholarships. Individual standard tickets start at $100, and a standard table of 10 starts at $1,000. Patron options are also available.  To purchase tickets or for more information about Phoenix Academy, visit or contact Elizabeth Balazs at or(402) 345-5401, ext. 102.

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