Karen Keehr, Photograph Curator and Head of Digital Imaging
As Photograph Curator, Karen preserves, collects and catalogs all types of photographic material from the earliest daguerreotypes to today’s digital images. As the Head of the Digital Imaging, Karen oversees the scanning and digitization of History Nebraska’s Photograph Collection. She and her team enjoy increasing access and sharing the amazing historical Nebraska images. Karen has also curated several photograph exhibits at History Nebraska including Doing Hard Time: Historic Nebraska Mug Shots and Start Your Engines!
Karen has been the Curator of the Photograph Collection at History Nebraska since June 2009. Originally from Minnesota, Karen has enjoyed studying and preserving Nebraska history for over 18 years. She did her undergraduate work at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota and received her Master degree in Public History from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. Before joining History Nebraska, Karen was the Curator of Research at Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, NE for nine years where she worked on two books of photographs, Grand Island and Hall County and Grand Island: the Julius Leschinsky Photographs. She has also proudly served on the Nebraska Museums Association board since 2000.
Gloria Christiansen, The Antelope County Country School District # 70 Restoration Project
Recently Gloria Christiansen, with her husband, Brian, and five committee members, spearheaded the move and renovation of District #70, a one-hundred-year-old, one-room country school. The schoolhouse, located south of Clearwater in Antelope County, was donated in 2013 by a farmer who had purchased the school shortly after it closed in the early 1970’s. After the County Commissioners’ blessings, several fund-raisers and applications for grants were approved, and the building was finally moved in February of 2018 to the museum complex located in Neligh. In the complex, it joined the Pioneer Church, Log Cabin, Antelope County Museum and Pierson Wildlife Museum Learning Center. The school is now affiliated with The Pioneers, Inc. D/B/A Antelope County Historical Society. The décor for the interior of the schoolhouse focuses on the time period from the 1940’s – 1980’s. When it functions as a classroom with students in attendance, the activities and curriculum will also reflect the 40’s – 80’s.
Gloria grew up on a farm south of Ewing, Nebraska. She attended a one-room rural school at District #146 and later a two-room rural school at District #46 in Holt County. She holds a BS Degree in Elementary Education from University of Guam, USA Territory and MLS Degree from Emporia State University, Kansas. She taught school in Clearwater Nebraska for 13 years, and worked as a media coordinator for over 25 years at Educational Service Unit #8 (ESU), an organization that serves seven counties in northeast Nebraska; she retired five years ago.
She serves on the Pierson Wildlife Museum Learning Center Board as secretary, and helps with education and marketing duties, as well as schedules visitor tours and guides school field trips. She published “Animal Facts Guidebook” after researching 200 animals in the museum.
In the past, Gloria has sung in a Bluegrass country band called “Sweetcorn.” With two friends, she has sung in a group featuring Andrews Sisters tunes; portrayed Mrs. Santa Claus and Carolyn Morton for distance learning episodes while working at ESU #8; and self-published a booklet with her friend titled, ABC Building Blocks for Growing Up with Down Syndrome, The Journey of Meredith Martin, Self-Advocate.
Gloria presently resides in Neligh, Nebraska with her husband, Brian.
Mary Ann Gabel, Heritage Teacher at Homestead’s Freeman One-Room School in Beatrice, NE
Mary Ann Gabel holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has been an educator and living historian for over 30 years. Mary Ann spent time as a teacher-ranger-teacher at Homestead National Monument of America where she researched one room country schools, developed ranger activities and a curriculum, “A School Day in 1893.” Mary Ann has portrayed a school marm for a number of years at the Freeman One Room School and gives students an opportunity to re-enact a typical school day in the 1890’s. She is a member of the Country School Association of America, a member of the Lancaster County 4-H Council and 4-H volunteer, and a member of the Family, Youth and Community Partners.
Ardis Yost, Former teacher of North Star School, Red Cloud NE
Caroline Allen, Providing history of Fairview School in Brownville, NE. Which is now home to the Schoolhouse Art Gallery through the Brownville Fine Arts Association.
Taryn Vanderford and Jon Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford anchors Pure Nebraska weekdays 9-9:30 a.m. and Sundays 7:30-8 a.m. Taryn also produces and anchors First at Four weekdays at 4 p.m. on 10/11.
Taryn and her husband, Jon, and their two kids travel across the state gathering stories for Pure Nebraska. The show has really become a family affair!
Taryn’s on-air work has earned her a regional Heartland Emmy Award, two Emmy nominations and numerous awards from the Associated Press, Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Nebraska Tourism Commission, Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board.
A farm girl from Pender, Nebraska, Taryn attended a country school. She uses that rural upbringing to compliment her reports on “Pure Nebraska.”
For seven years, Taryn and Jon lived in Knoxville, Tennessee where Taryn worked as a producer, writer and researcher for the following national shows: A&E’s “America’s Castles”, HGTV’s “Country at Home”, “Country Style” and “Restore America”, and the DIY Network’s “Weekend Decorating” and “DIY Basics.” Taryn and her team won a Telly Award for their work on the HGTV show “Country Style.” A highlight for Taryn included field producing a segment with her family in Nebraska for the TV special “Thanksgiving Across America” on the Food Network.
During her career, Taryn has been a radio announcer for WIVK and WOKI in Knoxville and for KFOR, KZKX and KFRX in Lincoln. She also served as an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Taryn graduated with highest distinction from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism. In college, she played saxophone in the Cornhusker Marching Band, where she met Jon.
Community involvement is a passion for Taryn, and she frequently serves as an emcee for area charity events. Taryn’s greatest joy is being a mom to her son and daughter, and she loves supporting them in all of their activities.
Jon Vanderford is the host, reporter and executive producer for 10/11's Pure Nebraska. He co-anchors the show with his wife, Taryn, and Meteorologist Brad Anderson.
Jon has more than two decades of broadcasting experience in radio and television.
He previously worked as a reporter for KQTV in St. Joseph, Missouri from 1993 to 1994. During that time, Jon also served as a Sunday evening weather anchor. Jon moved to Lincoln as a reporter/anchor for KOLN/KGINTV from 1994 to 1995. After that, he traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee. For nearly seven years, Jon worked as a reporter and anchor for a number of different newscasts, including the 5 p.m. newscast at WATE, and the 10 p.m. newscast on Fox affiliate WTNZ.
Jon joined 10/11 News as a 5, 6, and 10 p.m. news anchor in January of 2003. In February of 2010, Jon and Taryn were offered the chance to work together on the 10/11 morning show. The couple served as morning news anchors for six months before getting the call to bring their unique strengths to launch a brand new show, "First at Four.”
Jon is a native Nebraskan, and grew up near the village of Murdock. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is always happy to share fond memories of his time as an alto saxophone player in the Cornhusker Marching Band. Jon met Taryn in the band, and the couple has two wonderful children, a son and daughter.
Jon has earned a Heartland Emmy, two Emmy nominations, and numerous awards from the Associated Press, Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Nebraska Tourism Commission, Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board, and the Gold Press Card Competition from the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Jon has a passion for the Cornhusker State. As a self-proclaimed champion of rural Nebraska, Jon is proud to call this state home. It is for this reason that Jon has worked to develop the show "Pure Nebraska.” It's a show dedicated to the state's number one industry, agriculture. But on the show, he also celebrates the state, takes us to unique places, and meets the people that make Nebraska so unique.
Jon always enjoys hearing from you. "I consider it a privilege to serve 10/11 viewers across the state," Jon says. "Thank you for inviting me into your home each day. I hope you will consider me not only a source for news and information but also a trusted friend.