Newsroom > DHHS News Release

March 25, 2011

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

New Barbara Scarbrough Trailblazer Award Presented to Shayne Schiermeister

Lincoln - Health and Human Services supervisor Shayne Schiermeister of Omaha is the first recipient of the Barbara Scarbrough Trailblazer Award.

The Trailblazer Award recognizes DHHS employees who demonstrate outstanding and professional work with families and is named for Barbara Scarbrough, a woman who has dedicated her life to improving the lives of children and families.

“Shayne is a great leader who balances staff accountability and support with compassion and respect for the families we serve,” said Todd Reckling, director of the Division of Children and Family Services. “Shayne exemplifies the pride that state workers feel for their profession.”

Like Barbara Scarbrough before him, Shayne exemplifies an unfailing commitment to do what’s right for families, Reckling said. He’s respected by his team, and he respects them. He truly cares for his employees and helps them to grow professionally.

Shayne Schiermeister began working for the Department in 1992 and is currently a Child and Family Services Supervisor in the DHHS Eastern Service Area.

“We are honored that Ms. Scarbrough is returning to Omaha to personally present this award to Shayne,” said Barry DeJong, Eastern Service Area Administrator.

Barbara Scarbrough was a supervisor for the Department until the late 1990s, and her legacy lives on within DHHS. Her commitment and compassion touched lives at every interaction. She came to work every day with the sole intention of making a positive difference in other's lives - both staff and families served. Her motives were selfless, her integrity untouchable.

Barbara continues to work in the human services field and is currently Field Liaison/Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama School of Social Work. She works with college students who are completing internships and practicums in the community. Barbara continues to be motivated by seeing the growth of those she works with to help build and improve the quality of human service professionals in her community.