Quality Education, Hometown Values Bring Feusners Back to Holdrege

Quality Education, Hometown Values Bring Feusners Back to Holdrege Main Photo

20 Sep 2023

As a child growing up in Holdrege, Chelsea Feusner recalls fond memories of singing around the grand piano at the home of her voice teacher Paula Knepper.

“Like many students, Paula inspired me to sing, perform and share the joy of music with others,” Chelsea said.

This summer, Chelsea moved into that same house on East Avenue with her husband, Jeremy, and their two sons, Carter, a freshman in high school, and Callen, a second grader. Jeremy and Chelsea both graduated from Holdrege High School in 2000 and lived for a short time in Holdrege after they married until their jobs took them away.

Their current jobs allow them flexibility on where to live, and they chose Holdrege because of its excellent educational opportunities, relaxed lifestyle, and safe environment.

“After leaving Holdrege as newlyweds, we always wanted to move back, but the opportunity hadn't presented itself until now,” Chelsea said.

The pandemic changed the workforce for Jeremy, who works as a land surveyor at NPPD, allowing him to work a few days remotely. Chelsea's position at the University of Nebraska at Kearney also allowed for flexibility and remote opportunities.

“Holdrege and Phelps County have always been home,” Chelsea said. “As we began to plan for our oldest son's high school experience and continued education for our youngest, Holdrege rose to the top of our list.”

Chelsea has a bachelor’s degree in music education, a master’s degree in principalship and a doctoral degree in educational leadership/superintendency. She has worked as a principal in North Platte and Kearney, served as the director for Pre-K-5 education for Kearney Public Schools for three years and is currently an associate professor of educational leadership at UNK, where she teaches courses for principals, special education directors, and superintendents and conducts research around current topics and trends in education.

She said Holdrege will provide an excellent education for her boys.

“We wanted to make sure our boys had every opportunity to explore academics, fine arts, and athletics,” Chelsea said. “We were pleased with the new elementary school and their dedication to math problem-solving and the science of reading, as well as the continued efforts for academic excellence, athletic and music options at the middle and high school levels.”

With their oldest son just starting high school this fall, they decided to make the move to Holdrege last spring.

Jeremy continues his work as a professional land surveyor with NPPD. He served as a volunteer firefighter in North Platte and Kearney and now back in Holdrege, where he began his fire community service career. He also recently started his own surveying company Feusner Land Surveying, LLC, since moving to Phelps County.

The Feusners are enjoying the many benefits of small-town living.

“We are able to commute and work remotely as needed and still enjoy the smaller community,” Chelsea said. “We love being able to walk to the library or downtown. We appreciate the sense of community and hometown values of Holdrege. We also appreciate the slower pace of life. There is less traffic, less noise, less stress, and a more relaxed lifestyle.”

The Feusners love Holdrege’s library, the parks, the pool, and that the boys can just walk down the street to the movies.

“Overall, we were looking for a better quality of life,” Chelsea said. “We wanted our boys to experience rural Nebraska in a safe and welcoming community, close to family and friends. We made many lists before deciding to relocate, and the pros outweighed the cons for our family to move back to Holdrege and Phelps County.”

With their decision made, the house on East Avenue was the topping on the cake.

“When we walked through the house, we could just imagine what it might have looked like in the early 1900s,” Chelsea said. “The house has great character and a charming front porch. We knew it was a little outdated, but we are up for a challenge.”