October Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Natasha Jenkins & Dex.jpg
Dr. Natasha Jenkins & Dex SHS Class of 1999 & 2031

Dr. Natasha Jenkins 

SHS Class of 1999

1999 Scottsbluff High School Valedictorian, Dr. Natasha Jenkins, considers it a privilege to serve over 3,000 eye patients every year as co-owner of Scottsbluff Vision Clinic and Eastern Wyoming Eye Clinic.  She professionally attests to the concept that "the eyes are the windows to the soul" in that our eyes not only allow us to see the world around us, but they also give clear insight into one's inner health.  The human eye, after all, is literally the second most complex organ after the brain, composed of more than two million working parts. "It has been fascinating to analyze and treat eye conditions to help improve the lifetime vision of my patients the past 15 years," she attests.

As a sixth-generation Nebraskan, Dr. Jenkins accredits growing up on the family ranch and attending Scottsbluff Public Schools as having well-prepared her for success in her chosen profession of optometry. As current vice president and shareholder of the eyecare corporation, Dr. Jenkins is not only responsible for patient medical care, she also co-manages all aspects of both businesses in Scottsbluff and Torrington including finances, quality control, IT infrastructure and employee supervision.  She also shares in decision-making regarding investments of advanced optical equipment, eyewear products and contact lenses.  

Dr. Jenkins believes being both a Doctor of Optometry and business co-owner of multiple optometric practices creates a perfect career fit for her as a single mother to her son Dex.  "It is the nature of my work that allows me the freedom to schedule patients around Dex's schedule, ultimately maximizing our time together.  My #1 priority is Dex and the opportunities we share," she explains.  Dex is currently a fourth-grade student in Mrs. Burda's class at Longfellow Elementary where he is in the High Ability Learning Program.  Dex is an avid reader whose favorite subject is mathematics.  His passion is his extensive LEGO collection which includes Creator Expert sets such as the 9,090-piece LEGO Titanic.  He plays summer baseball on Coach Jeremy Becker's Westco Travel Team and has earned a white belt in Ko Heichi Martial Arts under Sensei Brent Anderson.  Most of all, Dex and his mother enjoy traveling together and competing with and against one another in all types of athletic workouts.

Dr. Jenkins' path to becoming a Doctor of Optometry included eight years of higher education starting with her undergraduate studies as a Walter Scott Scholar at Hastings College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biopsychology graduating Summa Cum Laude with High Distinction in 2003.  While at Hastings College, she was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the HC Lady Bronco volleyball and basketball teams.  She also played violin in the Hastings Symphony Orchestra.

After being granted the Missouri - Nebraska Reciprocity Scholarship, Dr. Jenkins went on to attend the University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry where she graduated as Class Marshal for ranking first in her Class of 2007.


Alumni Spotlight

Shelley Plett SHS Class of 1983

Shelley Plett is a 1983 SHS graduate. In August after high school graduation, she moved with her family to Vicksburg, Mississippi where she has resided since that time. Shelley attended Hinds Community College in Vicksburg then the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1988. She earned her Master’s of Education from Jackson State University in 1991, her Education Specialist from Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana at Monroe) in 1994, and

her Ph.D. in Education with a minor in Computer Applications from Mississippi State University in 2000. Shelley taught public school in Vicksburg for 11 years and taught in the evenings at Hinds Community College for 6 years. For 2 years she taught full time at the Hinds Community College Resource and Coordinating Unit for Economic Development. She left public education for 2½ years to teach computer classes at the Isle of Capri

Casino then returned to public education for 13 years where she worked at the administrative offices holding various positions such as District Test Coordinator,

Mississippi Student Information System Database Primary Contact and Director of Technology. She retired from public education in 2017 to take a full-time position

at Vicksburg Catholic Schools where she is entering her 6th year as the Registrar and technology coordinator.

Shelley has loved computers ever since her first programming class at SHS in the 80s where they wrote BASIC programs and played them back on cassette tape recorders. She uses technology to try to make people’s lives better, maintaining a handful of websites, overseeing the live streaming at her church, and offering free lifetime

tech support to special people and friends (she also works for chocolate). Every time she thinks she is too old to learn something new, something new comes along. Her motto is “If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is” and her favorite saying is “TMT . . . too much technology.” After retiring from the public schools with nearly 8000 students, she enjoys the 500 students at the private school. However, there are still not enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished that she wants to do. She has attended Hawkins United Methodist Church for the past 30 years and is employed there part time with communications and technology.


She returned to Scottsbluff for her 10-year SHS reunion, the year of the Great Flood of 1993. She remembers driving from Mississippi and having to take alternate routes through Kansas on the way to Scottsbluff and she remembers driving home and detouring through Missouri because of closed highways due to the flooding. She can’t believe she graduated from high school 40 years ago this coming May, 2023.

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