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Omaha Central High School

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Type  Public School
Enrollment  2,601 (2013)
Area  4 ha
District  Omaha Public Schools
Number of students  2,601
Grades  9-12
Team name  Eagles
Phone  +1 402-557-3300
Founded  1889
Architect  John Latenser Sr.
Omaha Central High School
Website  www.ops.org/high/central/
Address  124 N 20th St, Omaha, NE 68102, USA
Similar  Joslyn Castle, St Cecilia Cathedral, Adams Park, Ralston Arena, Fort Omaha

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Omaha Central High School, originally known as Omaha High School, is a fully accredited public high school located in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. It is one of many public high schools located within Omaha. As of the 2013–14 academic year, Omaha Central had an enrollment of 2,601 students (2013–14 academic year).


The current building, located in Downtown Omaha, Nebraska, was designed by John Latenser, Sr. and built between 1900 and 1912. It is the oldest active high school building in the city.

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On November 10, 1859, Omaha Central High School began as Omaha High School in the Nebraska Territory capitol building. In 1869, after the territorial government was removed from Omaha, the capitol building was donated to the City of Omaha by the Nebraska state government for educational use only. In 1870, it was demolished. In 1872, it was replaced by a four-story building that hosted kindergarten through twelfth grades. In 1900, a new building was begun that encircled the second school, which was dismantled by 1912. Kindergarten through eighth grade were moved to the neighboring Central Elementary School. A gym was added to Central in 1930, and this building is still in use today.


The Eagles compete in Class A, the largest classification in Nebraska according to the Nebraska School Activities Association. Throughout its history, Omaha Central has won numerous state championships in various sports. Many graduates have gone on to participate in collegiate athletics. The football and soccer teams compete at Seeman Stadium located on campus. The boys and girls basketball games and volleyball matches are played at the Central High gymnasium. The baseball and softball teams compete at Boyd Stadium, a renovated park three miles northeast of the campus.

In 2007, the Eagles became the only high school in Nebraska to have won championships in three main sports in the same calendar year. As a result, Central was ranked by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 10 high-school athletic programs in the country.

Newspaper and media

The high school's newspaper is known as The Register. In 1986 Quill and Scroll, officially declared The Register the oldest continuously published newspaper west of the Mississippi. After running a controversial story in 2001, the staff and the paper was rebuked by the administration. The story reported on a football player continuing to play, despite 2 assault charges. The charges, as stated in the school's handbook, should have led to a dismissal from the team. After running the story, the paper was threatened with being shut down. The school advisor received support from media outlets on the local and national level. This support stopped the paper from being shut down.

The staff of Central's student newspaper, were awarded the Student Press Review's Edmund J. Sullivan Award in 2002 after they wrote a series of articles exposing several controversial topics throughout the school. After administration had again threatened the paper with closure, the students won reprieve through the support of professional journalists across the country.

Central has had youth-led media for some years. Starting in 1923, the school had a high school radio station for five years. First, KFCZ operated during the 1923–1924 school year. In 1925 the call letters changed to KOCH, and the Central High School Radio Club presented shows throughout the school day and special events on the weekends. The station was ordered discontinued by the Federal Communications Commission in 1928, as they devalued the purpose of school-affiliated radio stations and rescinded their licenses across the United States.

Central also had, starting in 1969, a student run radio station KIOS-FM (91.5 MHz) which operated during the 1969–1973 school years. In 1973 the radio station was moved to Benson High School and then later to the old Tech High location where it is still in operation. KIOS-FM (91.5 MHz) is a National Public Radio member station in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, owned and operated by Omaha Public Schools.


The Military Science program at Omaha Central High School predates the JROTC program. It began in the 1892–1893 school year. It became the most popular activity at the school. At one point, all male students were required to participate.

Notable alumni

  • Kimera Bartee, Major League Baseball player (Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies)
  • Jason Brilz, Mixed martial arts fighter
  • Peter Buffett, son of Susan and Warren Buffett; musician
  • Susan Alice Buffett, daughter of Warren Buffett; philanthropist
  • Susan Thompson Buffett, mother of Susie Buffett, former wife of Warren Buffett; former president of the Buffett Foundation
  • Brenda Council, long-time North Omaha city councilwoman
  • Henry Fonda, Academy Award-winning actor
  • James W. Fous, Vietnam War veteran; recipient of the Medal of Honor award
  • Terry Goodkind, author
  • Ahman Green, American football player
  • Harland Gunn, National Football League player
  • Wynonie Harris, American rhythm & blues singer with 15 top 10 hits
  • Alan J. Heeger 2000 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry
  • Peter Hoagland, politician who represented the 2nd Congressional District of Nebraska in the United States House of Representatives
  • John L. Holland, psychologist who developed The Holland Codes
  • Calvin Jones, American football player
  • Keith Jones, American football player
  • Peter Kiewit, founder of the Kiewit Corporation, one of the world's largest construction companies
  • Lawrence R. Klein 1980 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Science
  • Saul A. Kripke, American philosopher & Princeton University professor
  • Aaron Marcus, Princeton University graduate, computer graphics designer
  • Dorothy McGuire, Academy Award-nominated actress
  • Jay Milder, expressionist painter
  • Charlie T. Munger, billionaire investor & Warren Buffett partner
  • Tillie Olsen, writer and activist
  • Shaun Prater, National Football League player
  • Jarvis Offutt, American World War I aviator, namesake of Offutt Air Force Base
  • Jed Ortmeyer, National Hockey League player
  • Seth Rich, employee of Democratic National Committee murdered in 2016
  • William Marshall Roark, US Navy lieutenant killed in Vietnam; namesake of USS Roark
  • Bobby Robertson, American football player
  • Gale Sayers, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back depicted in the movie Brian's Song
  • Larry Station, National Football League player
  • Kenneth C. Stephan, justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court
  • Inga Swenson, actress
  • Gerry Thomas, inventor of the TV dinner in 1952
  • Pat Venditte, Major League Baseball player
  • Gerald Weinberg, computer scientist and prolific author
  • Brandon Williams, National Football League player
  • Edward Zorinsky, Omaha mayor and Nebraska senator
  • Former principals

    The list of principals of Omaha High School/Central dates from 1870 to present.

  • John Kellom, 1870–1875
  • W. H. Merritt, 1875–1877
  • C. H. Crawford, 1877–1881
  • Charles Hine, 1881–1882
  • Homer Lewis, 1882–1896
  • Irwen Leviston, 1896–1899
  • A. H. Waterhouse, 1899–1908
  • E. U. Graff, 1908–1911
  • Kate McHugh, 1911–1914
  • Clayton Reed, 1914–1915
  • Joseph G. Masters, 1915–1939
  • Fred Hill, 1939–1944
  • J. Arthur Nelson, 1944–1968
  • Gaylord “Doc” Moller, 1968–1995
  • Gary L. Thompson, 1995–2002
  • Jerry F. Bexten, 2002–2006
  • Gregory Emmel, 2006–2010
  • Keith Bigsby, 2010-2013
  • Ed Bennett, 2013-
  • References

    Omaha Central High School Wikipedia