Who are the Geographic Educators of Nebraska?
GEON was formally established as a local non-profit in 2018 to carry on the mission of the state geography alliance that was dissolved in the same year. We are a self-sustaining, empowering organization whose members promote geographic education for all Nebraskans. Through the active participation of students, parents, teachers, government agencies, corporations and community members, GEON is dedicated to helping the citizens of Nebraska make sound decisions based on geographical knowledge using all the tools of the social sciences.
Harris Payne - Chair
Mr. Payne began his career at Omaha Public Schools teaching geography to 9 th graders at Nathan Hale Junior High School in 1979. He also taught at Omaha North High School and Burke High School and in 2005 became the Supervisor of Social Studies for Omaha Public Schools. He retired from OPS in 2012 for six days and began a second career as the Director of Social Studies for the Nebraska Department of Education. He retired from that position in 2020. Mr. Payne has a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education, master’s degree in Geography, master’s degree in Educational Leadership and currently a graduate student pursuing his doctorate degree. He likes traveling the world with his wife Christy and spending time with his five grandchildren.
Kyle Tredinnick - Vice Chair
Kyle Tredinnick has been involved as a geographic educator at the secondary and post-secondary level since 2010. During the course of his career he has worked in public and private schools in China, Minnesota, and now for Omaha Public Schools. He has a Bachelor's in Social Studies Secondary Education from Saint Cloud State University, a Masters in Geography from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Additionally, he runs a geography education consulting business, and has published a high school level human geography textbook that is now used in districts around the country.
Karen Graff - Secretary
Karen received her doctorate in Educational Administration, Curriculum, and Instruction from the University of Nebraska in 1999. She taught for 32 years in the Westside Community Schools while serving as Westside’s elementary social studies specialist. Karen is now an educational consultant specializing in curriculum development for social studies. She has worked with organizations such as the Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Public Media, and several museums and foundations. Karen also serves on the board for the Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies.
Steve Callaghan - Treasurer