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Written by Ali Hodge, Class of 2009

With warm wishes, the Central High School Foundation extends its deepest appreciation to our alumni and community supporters. We always have so much to be thankful for, but this year has been truly outstanding. 2020 has been an amazing year, even in the face of such unusual challenges!

10. We created unique opportunities for our young people to support their classroom learning.

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Through more than 50 teacher grants and other special projects, we were able to offer special opportunities for our students to support their classroom learning, such as producing high quality stage performances, providing live science content and science competition entries, funding facilities rentals for our sports teams, and more! …


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Written by Muzette Hill Stallings, Class of 1974, and Former Associate General Counsel for Ford Motor Credit Company LLC

In 1972, my mother, who was a community organizer in South Omaha, was speaking to Sam Greenberg, the manager of Philip’s Department Store and someone the community affectionately called ‘Mr. South Omaha.’ As their conversation shifted from the community to politics, my mother wondered aloud, “I wonder when we will ever have a woman president?” To which Mr. South Omaha responded, “We will have a Black man as a president before we have a woman president.” I remember when my mother recounted this story to me I was struck by that statement: How could he be so sure? How could he have such little faith in women? …


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Written by John Flemming, Class of 1966; Guidance Counselor at Central High School

The Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal, (and) are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” During this chapter of the story of the United States of America, I find myself reflecting heavily on this quote. The Founding Fathers challenged all of us to strive for equality for all people. …


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Written by the Rt. Rev. J. Scott Barker, Class of 1981; Central High School Hall of Fame Inductee

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Rev. J. Scott Barker speaks to World Religions students at Central High School. Of this experience he said, “The ways those Central students so easily banter with each other, care for one another, and respectfully listen to one another’s questions, doubts, and aspirations gives me great confidence that there is real hope for a future in which religious equality and tolerance wins the day, and in which people from every faith tradition can feel safe and secure in following after their God with confidence and joy.”

Following our greater push for a more just and equal union, I have been reflecting on our society’s journey towards a deeper embrace of religious equality. As the leader of a large Christian community in an increasingly multi-faith and secular America, this is an issue that is close to my heart.

Earlier today I appeared as a guest at a forum hosted by Omaha’s Tri-Faith Initiative. For you Eagles who have left the metro area, the Tri-Faith is an endeavor which, over the last several years, has located three diverse religious congregations — a church, a synagogue and a mosque — onto a single West-Omaha campus. The participating faith communities all pledged to prioritize mutual support and neighborly interaction with one another, while still maintaining a thoroughgoing commitment to their individual faith traditions. …


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Written by Ali Hodge, Class of 2009

Eek! COVID-19 really ruined a lot of our plans, didn’t it? Unfortunately, all of the class reunions that were planned for this Fall have been cancelled. However, you don’t have to go another year without seeing your classmates if you don’t want to! Below we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you make the most out of a virtual class reunion!

Reach Back Out to the Central High School Foundation!

Just because you won’t be visiting your alma mater in person does not mean we do not have a ton of valuable resources and experience to help you craft the best reunion! Reach out to us ahead of your reunion planning by contacting the Foundation at events@chsfomaha.org


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Written by the Rt. Rev. J. Scott Barker, Class of 1981; Central High School Hall of Fame Inductee

In “Look Backward at History to Move Forward in Progress,” Dr. Rodney Wead recounts the tragic story of the shooting of Vivian Strong in the summer of 1969, the heartbreak and anger her death touched off in Omaha’s black community, and the aftermath of living in the shadow of the systemic racism and police violence that was and is the lived reality of People of Color in this country. …


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Written by Dr. Rodney S. Wead, Class of 1953; Central High School Hall of Fame Inductee

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Background Image: Children play on the playground at the Logan Fontenelle Housing Project. Photo courtesy of Omaha Public Works Administration. Top Left Image: Vivian Strong, age 14, the year she was killed in North Omaha. Photo courtesy of the Omaha World-Herald. Bottom Right Image: The funeral of Vivian Strong, 1969, which was widely attended by the North Omaha community. Photo courtesy of the Omaha World-Herald.

June 24, 1969 was a hot summer day in Omaha, Nebraska; much like it is today. A group of Black youth were dancing to music in a vacant apartment at the Logan Fontenelle Housing Project in North Omaha. Carol Strong, a resident, spied the police nearby and heard that they were looking for a suspect who allegedly committed a robbery. She ran to the vacant apartment to alert the kids — especially her sister, Vivian Strong — that the cops were nearby. They immediately ran out of the apartment and toward their homes, not wanting to be caught up in confusion involving the police. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. Carol recalled hearing what sounded like firecrackers, and a flurry of young people running. …


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The Shorts

Dad: Chris Short, Class of 1992

Daughter: Savannah Short, Class of 2020

Savannah is proud to be a part of a Central Legacy! “My favorite memory of my Dad and Central was the day before my freshman year when he walked me through the building and explained ‘the sides’ to me.” She also said that she looked up to her father: “After his graduation my dad taught private piano lessons, took over the family business, married his high school sweetheart (my mom), had three kids, and is now a fantastic music teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School!”

Savannah’s message to her Eagle Dad: “Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I am so lucky to have you, and I always appreciate your help and support in everything I do! …


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Written by Ali Hodge, Class of 2009

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Kathy Humann, making custom face masks for the Ponca Tribe of Omaha

Kathy (Fox) Humann, Class of 1968, was going crazy in quarantine despite the fact that she was at home surrounded by two of her life-long passions: the materials to quilt, and her pets and foster animals. The urge to help her community during this time was a strong force.

That’s when a suggestion on Facebook caught her eye: Join the group ‘Nebraska Hands and Feet!’ Started by a local nurse seeking to fill the sudden need for face masks amid COVID-19, a small group of online creatives — which now included Humann — joined forces. Nearly 3 months, and 80,000 masks later, they are still sewing together. …


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Written by Ali Hodge, Class of 2009

Cionna Franklin (class of 2010) learned about the importance and power of teamwork at Central High School. As a teenager, she put her energy into many different teams: she was on the staff of the O-Book, she was a member of the African American History Club, she was in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and competed in DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), an academic team of marketing students that learn business and leadership skills through conferences and competitions.

So it isn’t surprising that she put all that experience and expertise to work after college to start her own Dallas-based business, Chicks Link Up, aimed at encouraging and developing teamwork amongst professional women. …

About

The Central High School Foundation

A nonprofit organization committed to improving the education of present and future students at Omaha Central High School. | connect@chsfomaha.org

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