Conestoga Magnet School Principal Celebrates Positive Contributions to Student Success

Vanita Jarmon’s mother was a teacher – so were her aunts and uncles. “I’ve been surrounded by education all of my life,” she says. “I knew right away it was going to be a job of hard work. I watched my mom work long hours … The greatest reward, I knew, was that I was going to make a difference.”

More than 30 years after taking her first job as a first-grade teacher at Omaha’s Central Park Elementary, Jarmon is as passionate as ever about impacting young lives. Only today she does it from the principal’s office at Conestoga Magnet School, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s Adopt-A-School partner for more than 15 years.

Now in her second year as principal, Jarmon has made it a priority to empower teachers and “honor” their instructional time by working to eliminate school day distractions – a move that is paying big dividends.

“We’re really excited about what we’re seeing. Our kids are just soaring,” she says. “We’re seeing it in their reading fluency. We’re seeing it in their comprehension and in their math computation. And their writing is really coming along.”

Momentum. Energy. A collaborative approach to education. It was all on display at Conestoga’s recent Back to School Night, an event amplified by live jazz performed by a school parent, PowerPoint presentations by teachers, and ice cream all around. A banner, provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska and decorated with employees’ inspirations, introduced the school’s theme for the year: "Walking the Heroes’ Trail."

“We gave out decals that said ‘Conestoga parents, the first heroes’ because we really want to lift up our parents and tell them how much we appreciate their contribution to their student’s success and how we need them to walk alongside us,” Jarmon explains.

Another key to success, she says, is having a very intentional plan – and a highly-motivated team.

“Our staff (last year) really took time to make sure we were all on the same page when it came to our mission and vision. If you come into our building, you’ll see it plastered everywhere . . . We tell our kids every morning on our announcements: ‘We are Conestoga. We respect. We learn. We grow. We succeed.’”

The winner of a 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, Jarmon’s fearless commitment to student success has been a theme throughout her evolving career: 20 years at Central Park Elementary, five years at King Elementary (academic data representative), four years at Jefferson Elementary (assistant principal) and now, Conestoga.

Outside of the school building, Jarmon is devoted to shaping and inspiring young lives. She runs the vacation Bible school at her church. She also sings in the choir and serves as a deacon.

“I have a very strong faith,” she says. “My faith keeps me grounded. I’m living my dream.”

“Faces of Fearless” is a storytelling series in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s “Live Fearless” campaign celebrating people living their very best lives and inspiring others to do the same.



The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.


A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.

Tiered benefit plan

A health care plan featuring multiple levels of benefits based on the network status of a particular provider. 


The annual amount you pay for covered health services before your insurance begins to pay.

emergency care services

Any covered services received in a hospital emergency room setting.


Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy

in-network provider

A provider contracted by your insurance company to accept an agreed upon payment for covered services. 

OUT-OF-network provider

A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Your out-of-pocket costs will tend to be more expensive if you go to an out-of-network provider.)


Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.


If you can afford health insurance, but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return.


The amount you pay to your health insurance company each month. 

Preventive services

Health care services that focus on the prevention of disease and health maintenance.


Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured or have surgery. This includes physical, occupational and speech therapy.

special enrollment period

The time after the Open Enrollment Period when you can still purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event (losing other health coverage, having a baby, getting married, moving).


A physician who has a majority of his or her practice in fields other than internal or general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics or family practice.