Southeast CC Mourns Passing of Board Member Steve Ottmann


Lincoln, NE – Longtime Southeast Community College employee and current member of the Board of Governors, Steve Ottmann, died Nov. 11, 2019, in Crete. He was 73. Ottmann had been a member of the SCC Board since 2013. Prior to that he taught developmental math at the College for close to 40 years.

“Steve’s commitment and dedication to Southeast Community College is an inspirational reminder of the importance of living with a focus on service, grace and gratitude,” said SCC President, Dr. Paul Illich. “Steve cared greatly for the diverse student and community populations and always performed his duties as an SCC Board member with the highest integrity, thoughtfulness and selflessness.”

Sandeep Holay worked with Ottmann in the math department at SCC for many years. He said he was very caring toward the students, and they were always his first priority.

“He was always very student-focused and worked in the math lab just so he could be with the students one-on-one,” Holay said. “He was always looking for ways to engage the students.”

As a Board member, he held a different perspective since he worked at SCC for so many years, and always held student interests first, said Holay.

“He wanted to be a Board member because he wanted to push for student-oriented projects,” he added.

Richard Ross was dean of the Arts & Sciences Division during most of Ottmann’s time at SCC. He said Ottmann mostly taught math to the students in the technical trades, and was good with the students.

“He was always looking out for the best interest of the College,” Ross said. “He was a good asset to SCC.”

Ottmann is survived by his wife of 53 years, Judith Ottmann, his three children and five grandchildren.

“The College and the students and communities it serves were the beneficiaries of Steve’s desire to thank SCC through his tireless and noble service as an SCC Board member,” Illich added. “Steve will be greatly missed, but his contributions will continue to serve the College well for many years.”

Ottmann held a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was active in the Nebraska Community College Association and the Association of Community College Trustees. Locally he was a member of the Dorchester United Methodist Church, the Dorchester Area Community Association/Fourth of July, Sons of American Legion Squadron 264, and Saline County Farm Bureau.

Ottmann’s family requests that friends donate blood at the nearest blood bank or make a financial donation to a future SCC scholarship for local students.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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