2008 Distinguished Alumni Award - Susan Seacrest

Susan S. Seacrest

Susan (Schroeder) Seacrest is the daughter of Velma and the late Elmer Schroeder.  Elmer was a Founding Father of Lincoln Lutheran Junior High School and an important leader for the birth of the school in 1962.  Susan was a student at Lincoln Lutheran Junior High School from 1965-1968.  She enjoyed serving as a chapel speaker, student council leader, and giving the prayer at the Promotion Service for her ninth grade class. 

Susan has many great memories of Lincoln Lutheran which include All Sports Day competitions (and flooding the bathroom during clean-up), Mr. Steinhauers’s science class, and the complete set of Nancy Drew Books in the library.  She recalls reading The Chronicles of Narnia and Johnny Tremain in English, band and choir with Mr. Martin (including Christmas concerts and operettas).  She enjoys great memories of caring teachers and wonderful friends.  Susan’s claim to fame is winning a trophy (Highest game with Handicap) in the renowned “Lincoln Lutheran Bowling League.”

Susan went on to graduate from Lincoln Southeast High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society.  She holds a B.A. degree from St. Olaf College and a M.S. Ed. from the University of Rochester.  After several years as a teacher and guidance counselor in the Lincoln Public Schools, Susan founded the Groundwater Foundation in 1985 and served as its President until January 1, 2008.  Under her direction, the Foundation grew to become a nationally known, well-respected voice for groundwater education.  Foundation programs include a community based recognition program called Groundwater Guardian, and Groundwater Guardian Green Sites, a location specific program that connects outreach with measurable environmental benefits.  In addition, Susan assisted in the development of a wide variety of Groundwater Foundation outreach programs focusing on such groundwater issues as private well stewardship, on-site wastewater treatment, source water protection, and conservation.

Foundation programs have been featured in TIME Magazine, National Geographic, and as part of broadcasts on National Public Radio, “The Osgood Files” and “CBS Sunday Morning.”  Seacrest’s experience in groundwater education was recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through her appointment to several EPA advisory boards including the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Council, and to two terms on the National Drinking Water Advisory Council.  During her career with the Groundwater Foundation, Seacrest spoke frequently about the importance of groundwater education to a wide variety of audiences.  For example, she chaired a panel of expert speakers at a Water Issues briefing at the United Nations, spoke at an International Midwest Groundwater Conference in 2006.  More recently Susan was honored with the 2007 Heinz Environmental Award by the Heinz Family Foundation and also presented the commencement address at St. Olaf College in May of 2008.

Retiring as President of the Groundwater Foundation in December of 2007, Seacrest is currently working as the 9th Grade Guidance Counselor at Lincoln North Star High School in Lincoln, Nebraska.  She is married to Gary Seacrest and they have three grown children, Logan, Tyler, and Kelly.  Susan’s hobbies include reading and horse back riding.  She is a member of First Plymouth Church of Lincoln.