Omaha North High School

Omaha North High Magnet School is a public high school located at 4410 North 36th Street in the city of Omaha, Nebraska. The school is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) magnet school in the Omaha Public Schools district. North has won several awards, including being named a 2007 Magnet Schools of America "Magnet School of Excellence".[2]

Omaha North High Magnet School
4410 North 36th Street

Douglas County

United States
Coordinates41°17′52″N 95°58′03″W / 41.2979°N 95.9674°W / 41.2979; -95.9674Coordinates: 41°17′52″N 95°58′03″W / 41.2979°N 95.9674°W / 41.2979; -95.9674
School typePublic secondary school
School districtOmaha Public Schools
PrincipalCollette Nero
Teaching staff100.45 (FTE)[1]
Grades9 to 12
Enrollment2,045 (2018–19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio20.57[1]
Color(s)Blue and gold
Team nameOmaha North High School Vikings
RivalOmaha Central High School


After a start to construction in 1922 at North 31st and Ames Avenues was hampered by unexpected groundwater, the present North High School was completed in 1924 at North 36th Street and Ames Avenue. Located on four acres, North opened as an eighth through twelfth grade school in September 1924, and had 650 students its first year. The building's first principal was Edward E. McMillan, who served until 1942. The junior high students were moved to other schools by 1929. The school began winning district and state awards in academic and athletic competitions in 1926, and in 1932, North High earned the top place at a national debate competition.

During World War II, 1,711 North graduates served in the United States military; 77 did not make it home. By 1945 the school's attendance doubled. In the late 1940s, the building was expanded to accommodate huge growth in the population of North Omaha. A music wing, cafeteria, gymnasium and more classrooms were added. The swimming pool was converted into a freshman study hall and library. In the late 1950s, the late E. E. McMillan was honored as the namesake of the nearby middle school, McMillan Magnet Center.

Overcrowding began to become a problem in the 1960s, and by the 1970s, more than 2,400 students were enrolled. The Omaha Public Schools initiated a desegregation plan in 1976, and in the 1980s, the temporary elimination of 9th grade at North led to decreased enrollment. North was designated a magnet school focused on math, science, and technology during that decade as well. In 1993, the school completed a $20 million renovation. Several nearby properties were bought and several additions expanded North's campus to its present twelve acres. The new student center and cafeteria, called the Viking Center, was heralded as a major development, along with a renovation of the library and new facilities that included a multipurpose physical education and athletics facility.[3]

In the early 2000s, North shifted its magnet focus to specialize in the fields of science, engineering and technology. To complement this focus, in 2010 a new four-story, 32,092-square foot addition was dedicated at North. It consists of science, media technology, and engineering classrooms and lab space, as well as a wrestling practice room in the basement. Students taking classes in North's engineering program helped design the new building, working with RDG Planning & Design to present and finish the plans. With this building, North became the first school in Nebraska to be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Schools, earning a Silver certification. Vrana Construction was the general contractor.[4]

North is the only public high school in Omaha that does not have a stadium, and presently only has a football and soccer practice field and track with a small section of bleachers on the school grounds that is insufficient to accommodate the crowds that appear for many athletic events. To this end, North sometimes shares nearby Omaha Northwest High School's Kinnick Stadium, especially for "home" football games. In 2014, Principal Gene R. Haynes announced future plans to privately finance a 5,000–6,000-seat stadium to be built in the neighborhood around North High, with an expected cost of $8–$12 million. A local city councilman said the project would be "an important symbol of progress in North Omaha."[5]

Longtime principal Gene R. Haynes, who held the position since 2001 and had been an employee of the Omaha Public Schools for over fifty years, announced his retirement at the end of the 2019–2020 school year.[6]


According to US News and World Report, as of the 2015–16 school year, Omaha North High School's students were 56 percent male and 44 percent female. The total minority enrollment was 63 percent. There were 1,753 total students enrolled in grades nine through twelve. With 103 full-time teachers, there was a 17:1 teacher to student ratio. 65% of students at the school were qualified as economically disadvantaged, and the on-time graduation rate was 79%.[7]


North has won many state and national awards for curriculum innovation. Currently, the school day is extended by a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant from the U.S. Department of Education. North offers higher-level mathematics courses in Omaha Public Schools and is articulating for accreditation in career and technology education. The school has over 1,200 networked computers, and technology is pervasive in all curriculum areas. A wide variety of programming languages are offered, including C++, HTML, Visual Basic, and Java. All students and staff are issued email accounts. North's Academic Decathlon team placed third in the state during the 2005–2006 school year.

Omaha North High Magnet School is a certified Project Lead the Way high school.[8] The Service Learning Academy through the University of Nebraska-Omaha has a partnership with North High.[9]






The Omaha North High School Vikings football team has enjoyed success, both in the past as well as recently. They won their first Nebraska state championship in 1929, and again in 1948, 1956, 1961, 1967, 2013, 2014 and 2017. In addition, the team was runner-up in 2012 and 2016. Dewey Wade was on the state football champion team in 1948 and the city champion football teams of 1949 and 1950. In 1961 and 1962, University of Nebraska Hall of Famer Bob Churchich was the quarterback.

State championshipsEdit

State championships[10]
Season Sport Number of championships Year
Fall Football, boys 8 1929, 1948, 1956, 1963, 1967, 2013, 2014, 2017
Cross country, boys 1 1964
Tennis, boys 5 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
Winter Wrestling, boys 8 1951, 1985, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2014
Basketball, girls 1 1998
Ice hockey, boys (club team) 2 2002, 2003
Swimming, girls 1 1997
Spring Track and field, boys 1 2006
Total 27

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "OMAHA NORTH MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  2. ^ "Past Staff/School Awards", Omaha North High School. Retrieved 10/6/07.
  3. ^ (1998) "Omaha North High School: A diamond anniversary history," by John Carter (Class of '57), Omaha North High School Alumni Directory – Omaha Public Schools.
  4. ^ Nieminen, R. "Designing a living laboratory", interiors+sources. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Duffy, E. (July 25, 2014) "Omaha North wants to build privately-funded, multi-use sports stadium", Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Nitcher, Emily (January 31, 2020). "Gene Haynes, longtime Omaha North principal, to retire at end of school year". Omaha World-Herald. Omaha, NE. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  7. ^ "Omaha North Magnet High School," US News and World Report. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ "Nebraska School Activities Association" (English). Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  11. ^ "Dick Davis". Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2014.

External linksEdit