26 June Belle Ryan Summer School Students Compete in Olympic-Style Field Day June 26, 2012 By News News 0 Belle Ryan Elementary summer school and Summer Library Program students became Olympic athletes during the school's Olympic-themed Field Day. The events included Ireland's Potato Race, Greece's Olympic Torch Relay, Jamaica's Javelin Throw, Portugal's Popcorn Machine, Honduras' Hula Hooping and France's Flipping Flapjacks. The summer school theme this year was "Go for the Gold" and Field Day was the culminating activity after students studied and wrote about the history of the Olympic Games. Click here to see a photo slideshow of the event! Related Articles Springville Summer School Students Enjoy Field Trip to Lincoln Springville Elementary summer school students capped off a unit on Nebraska history by taking a field trip to Lincoln! Students had the opportunity to see some sites around the capital city, and even enjoyed a sack lunch at the governor's mansion. Nebraska first lady Sally Ganem gave each student an age-appropriate book to read over the summer, and also provided several autographed books for the Springville library. Click here to see a photo slideshow of the field trip! Students, Staff, Schools Win Magnet Schools of America Awards Congratulations to the OPS magnet schools who won merit awards from the Magnet Schools of America (MSA) for the 2009-10 school year: Magnet Schools of America Merit Award of Excellence Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School Crestridge Elementary Magnet School MSA Merit Award of Distinction Catlin Elementary Magnet School Conestoga Elementary Magnet School King Science & Technology Magnet Middle School North High Magnet School R.M. Marrs Magnet Middle School Skinner Elementary Magnet School South High Magnet School Western Hills Elementary Magnet School MSA Principal of the Year – Region VII ReNae Kehrberg (Buffett Magnet Middle School) MSA Teacher of the Year – Region VII Lee Kallstrom (North High Magnet School) Congratulations to the students who participated in the MSA student poster contest: Skinner Magnet student Ameri-Grace Haorei - First Place in Region VII and first place nationally in the elementary competition. South High Magnet student Jesus Galvan – First Place in Region VII and third place nationally in the high school competition. And King Science & Technology Magnet student Morgan Hruska – First Place in Region VII in the middle school competition. OPS Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees 2017 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Andre Woolridge – Benson High School A 1992 Omaha Benson graduate, Woolridge scored a championship-game record 50 points to lead the Bunnies to the state title his senior year. He was All-Metro for three years and finished with 1,911 points, a Class A record. A four-year starter at Iowa, he led the Big 10 in scoring and assists his senior year and earned third-team All-American honors. He set the Iowa record for career assists. He played professionally in France, Italy, Turkey and Greece. Terry Eyman – Bryan High School Terry Robert Eyman was born in Omaha, Neb., on Aug. 19, 1968. He is the youngest of six siblings born to Robert and Anne Eyman. Eyman attended Chandler View Elementary School, Bryan Junior High School and graduated from William Jennings Bryan High School in 1986. During his high school years, he was an offensive and defensive lineman under the coaching guidance of Tim Bond. Terry received the Most Improved Player Award during his football years at Bryan High School. Following high school, Eyman attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After meeting with Coach Tom Osborne, he made the decision to join the Husker football program as a “walk-on,” and played the position of swing tackle during his years with the Huskers. Through hard work and perseverance, Terry was able to earn a scholarship and a starting position/rotation with the Huskers during his junior and senior years of college. Eyman graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a business degree in 1991. After graduation, he returned to Omaha, Neb., and joined the family business, Eyman Plumbing. He credits his business knowledge and experience to his work with various plumbing companies throughout the area. He is currently owner and CFO for Eyman Plumbing in Omaha. He lives in La Vista, with wife, Michelle Haynes, and their combined family of five children: Maddison, Nicholas, Benjamin, Robert and Waylon. Eyman enjoys coaching youth football, taking motorcycle rides, spending time with the family and, of course, watching football games at any level. Gary Graner – Burke High School Gary Graner grew up in the southwest Iowa town of Manning. He played football, basketball, and baseball and was awarded all-state basketball honors his senior year. After graduating from Manning High School in 1974, he played college basketball at the University of South Dakota from 1974-1978, graduating with a history degree and a high school teaching certificate and coaching endorsement in May of 1978. Coach Graner taught and coached at Omaha Burke High School for 33 years. When he joined Burke High School in the fall of 1978, Graner started as an assistant to John Johnette and assistant football coach to Larry Jacobsen. Upon the retirement of Coach Johnette in 1988, Coach Graner became Burke High School’s second head boys’ basketball coach holding that position for the next 18 years. In those 18 years, his teams qualified for the State Tournament eight times and finished as State Runners-up twice, 1993 and 2000. Burke High teams also won the Metro Holiday Tournament three times during his tenure. Ten of Coach Graner’s 18 teams finished the year in the OWH’s final state top ten rankings. In 1992, he was chosen to be the head coach for the Valentino’s NE All-Star team representing the state of Nebraska in the annual Las Vegas tournament and the following season was honored as the Metro Conference Coach of the Year. Coach Graner loved challenging his athletes to not only excel on the basketball court but also in the classroom and daily life. The teams he coached played an exciting brand of basketball, which brought the community out in force. That excitement and success generated by his teams’ hard-nosed play, along with the promotion of youth basketball through summer basketball camps and clinics, resulted in Coach Graner being honored with Burke High School’s Community Leader Award in 2000. Graner has always felt his reward for coaching has been the great fortune of being a part of the lives of so many wonderful student-athletes and working with dedicated coaches, staff, and administrators at Burke High School and throughout Omaha Public Schools. Coach Graner and his wife, Jessica, have been married forty-one years and all four of their children: Matt, Steve, Michelle, and Alli currently live in the Omaha area. Jessica Haynes - Central High School Jessica Haynes was born and raised in Omaha where she graduated from Central High School in 1985. A three-time all-state and three-time All-Metro player, Haynes helped Central to back-to-back basketball state championships in 1983 and 1984. In 1984, she averaged 16.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and her rebound and coast-to-coast drive for a layup sealed the state championship. She averaged 22 points and nearly 12 rebounds per game as a senior when she was a Parade All-American, Street and Smith’s All-American, Converse All-American, and Carnation Milk All-American. In track, she ran on three gold-medal relays helping Central to Class A titles in 1983 and 1984 and was also named High School All-American. Haynes attended San Diego State University where she was a three-year starter and a two-time All-Big West Conference selection averaging 16 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game during her career. She also played on two Olympic Festival teams in 86’ and 87. In 1997, Haynes was selected as a developmental player in the WNBA and assigned to the Utah Starzz. Haynes was inducted into the Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and 2011. She was also inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. Haynes is now a mental health therapist and travels the country as a motivational speaker. Haynes is the mother of three wonderful children; William, a celebrity hairstylist also known as Tokyo Stylez, Jerrica, a United States Postal Service employee and Hunter, a freshman at Millard North. Dave Underwood - North High School Dave Underwood graduated from Omaha North High School in 1962, where he lettered in basketball, baseball and was an All-City selection first baseman in baseball. He was a member of the Omaha Storz American Legion team that finished third in the nation in 1961. Underwood was not only a standout on the field but a great teacher and coach. He taught and coached in the Omaha Public Schools at Lewis and Clark Middle School, South and Burke High School. His coaching career included coaching football, basketball and baseball. As a baseball coach at Burke, his teams achieved State Championships three times between 1970 and 1975. During the summers, he ran baseball camps for youth in the Omaha area with Bill Olson of Northwest High School. Underwood is co-founder of the Collins-Orcutt All- Star game featuring the areas top baseball players each Spring. Underwood has had an impact on youth not just in sports but spiritually. He led a group called Fellowship of Christian Athletes, who met at his house once a week to discuss how they could become better people in the eyes of the Lord and be a positive influence to people around them. One of his player’s said quote, “meeting you, playing for you and being your friend has been one of the greatest honors in my life and I would not be the same person had that not happened.” After a short stint at IBM, Underwood returned to coaching as an assistant baseball coach at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He helped lead Nebraska to its first regional appearance attempting to secure a berth in the College World Series. After two years at Nebraska, he served one year as an assistant coach at Creighton University and was named head baseball coach the following year. As head coach, he was on the College World Series Board of Directors from 1981 to 1985. He was twice honored as a College Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1983. He helped lead Creighton to its first ever ranking in the Collegiate Baseball Magazine. In 2013, Underwood was named to the Omaha Old-timers Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. In 1986, Underwood co-founded The Real Estate Brokerage Firm with a former player and Hall of Fame member, Tim Wurth. The company has been in business for 31 years and is a multi-faceted commercial real estate firm. In 2005, Underwood co-founded a new company called Heritage Communities to develop, build and manage care facilities for seniors. Underwood and his wife, Marilyn, live in Omaha, have five children are the proud grandparents of 12 grandchildren. Mikaela Perry-Grimes – Northwest High School Mikaela Perry-Grimes was born in Omaha, Neb., and is the daughter of longtime Omaha Public Schools (OPS) employees Doris and Otis Perry II. She attended Springville Elementary, Nathan Hale Junior High and Northwest High schools. Grimes excelled both academically and athletically. In high school she was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered in cheerleading, basketball and track and field. Following in her brothers’ (Mark and Otis III, who were stellar athletes in their own right) footsteps, she was a state champion in track and still holds the number three time in the 200 meters and the top time in the 100 meters on the Nebraska Girls All-Time Track Chart. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she was one of the first African-American cheerleaders that the school had ever had and was a member of the then, Big 8 Conference Championship track team. Completing her track career at the University of Alabama, she also hit another milestone as one of the first African-Americans elected to the school’s homecoming court before graduating with her bachelor’s degree. She competed for both the Midwest Striders and Cornhusker Flyer Youth Track Clubs. During her track career, Grimes won several awards, but her proudest moment was competing for the USA Junior team at the Pan-Am Junior Games where she ran the second leg on a 4x1 that not only won, but broke the World Junior Record. Today, Grimes lives in Nashville, Tenn. and is a Human Resource Administrator and co-chair for the Nashville Diversity and Inclusion Chapter at T-Mobile. In her spare time, she coaches for the Training Ground Youth Track Club, where several of her athletes have reached All-American status. She is married to Reggie Grimes and has 3 children: Maya,19; Reggie,15 and Reghan,13. All three are following in her footsteps. Reghan is a city middle school track champion, a two-time youth track All-American and MVP of her Middle School’s volleyball and basketball teams. Reggie is a county track champion, made the TSSAA State Track Meet as a freshman and was voted Offensive MVP for his high school football team. Maya was a two-time TSSAA state champion, High school All-American and Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Freshman of the Year competing for Austin Peay State University. Terrance Badgett - South High School Terrance Badgett started playing basketball in the fifth grade at Belvedere Elementary. A guy by the name of Jonathan Culver Sr. gave Badgett advice. He said “you can be great, if you practice.” Badgett took his advice and became a successful student and professional athlete. Badgett attended R. M. Marrs Magnet middle school where he played as a seventh grader and averaged 34.4 points a game. In high school, Badgett was an All-American all four years. He was a two-time all-state player and led the South High Packers to the Class A state championship in 1990 and averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game the following year. During his senior year he earned honors as the Gatorade Nebraska Player of the Year. Badgett was a Nebraska Cornhusker recruit and made the Big Eight All-Bench team, won the Big eight tournament and the National Invitational Tournament. As a Husker, he played in 127 games and scored more than 200 points each season, finishing with a career total of 953. Badgett played professionally for five seasons in the U.S. and overseas in Taiwan, Ireland, Germany and the Philippines. Back in the United States, Badgett played for Sioux Falls Sky-force, Wisconsin Blast, San Diego Wildfire and the Kansas City Knights. In 2003, Badgett returned to Omaha from Sacramento and worked at Omaha Home for Boys for eight years. He received his master’s degree in Human Services in 2005 at Bellevue University and began working as Executive Director for the YMCA. In 2012, Badgett started a new career at the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands. Today, Badgett continues to invest his time in other non-profit work for the homeless and mental health services for youth. He now works for the Heartland Behavioral School of Omaha. Badgett has one daughter, Camryn Joy Badgett. Thomas Warren - Technical High School Thomas Warren graduated from Omaha Technical High School in 1979. He earned a football scholarship to Morningside College where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and sociology and a minor in psychology. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1989 in criminal justice with an option in public administration. While at Technical High School, Warren earned eight varsity letters: three in football, three in track and two in basketball. In football, he ran for 700 yards, eight touchdowns and had 36 tackles against opposing teams and was a Metropolitan Conference Runner-up in 1977. In basketball, his team were Metropolitan Conference Champions in 1978 and Holiday Tournament Champions in 1979. His track team were District Champions in the 4 x 200-yard relay. At Morningside College, Warren was a four-year starter as defensive back and his team were the All North Central Conference Second Team in 1982 and he was honored as the North Central Conference Defensive Player of the Week. His team also defeated the University of Nebraska at Omaha 3-0 after Warren forced a fumble that led to the game’s only score. After graduation, Warren served on the Omaha Police force from 1983-2008 and was the first African-American in Omaha to serve as Chief of Police from 2004-2008. Warren also won the World Police and Fire Olympic Gold Medal in 1983 in weightlifting for his class. Today, Warren serves as President/Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Nebraska. James Lund - Middle Schools James Lund was born and raised in Omaha and graduated from Omaha North High School in 1970. He attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he received a bachelor’s degree in education. While attending UNO as an undergraduate, he was a member of the men’s basketball and golf team. While in college, James met his wife, Marlene and they married in September of 1974. They’ve been married for 43 years and raised four children, Eddie, Julie, Andy, and Dan. After teaching, coaching and being a dad to four little ones, Lund returned to UNO and completed his master’s degree in 1989. Participating in college athletics influenced Lund’s decision to make teaching and coaching a career. Lund began his teaching and coaching career at Martin Luther King School. He taught at King from the fall of 1976 to the spring of 1984. In the fall of 1984, he transferred to Morton Middle School where he finished his career with OPS. At both schools, Lund coached girls’ and boys’ basketball, football, wrestling, soccer, swimming and gymnastics. Basketball was his favorite sport of all, in which he coached over 55 boys and girls teams during his time with OPS. In order for more students to participate in sports, he also sponsored intramural units at Morton. During his tenure at Morton, Lund coached against each one of his children, while they attended rival schools. Lund’s philosophy of coaching was to emphasize sportsmanship, skill development and team work. The strategies he employed were done to help players improve their skills rather than just win games. Over the thirty-one years he coached, he was privileged to work with many student athletes who went on to participate in high school and college athletics. Throughout the years, Lund participated in men’s basketball leagues and golf tournaments. He also enjoyed coaching his children and now grandchildren through outside youth organizations. Retirement offers Lund extra time to be more involved with his six grandchildren. When he is not being Papa, he enjoys golfing, cycling and traveling. Community Contributors Jim Fuxa Jim Fuxa attended Ashland Park Elementary and graduated from South High School in 1960. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Omaha University on athletic scholarships and graduated with and bachelor’s degree in education in 1965. He worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota at Mankato and obtained his master’s degree in education in 1971. At South High School, Fuxa wrestled and had an undefeated dual meet season in his sophomore and senior years. He was undefeated in district and state championships his senior year in high school and in two seasons at Omaha University, he had a dual meet record of 18-1. During Fuxa’s junior year in high school, he started coaching wrestling at the South YMCA and was paid ten cents per student, per session. His teams won five consecutive state YMCA championships. Later, he took part in road races and duathlons. He won over 200 medals and trophies during the 80s and 90s in those events. Fuxa competed for the USA Duathlon team and placed sixth in his age group in the 1993 world championships in Dallas. Even later in life, he participated in the Senior Winter Games in Summit County, Colo., winning numerous first place medals in Nordic skiing, snow shoe racing and the biathlon (shooting and Nordic skiing). Fuxa was employed by the Omaha Public Schools for 31 years. From 1967-1970, he coached football, wrestling, gymnastics and track and field at Lewis & Clark Middle School. In his third and final year at the junior high school, his teams won city championships in football, wrestling and track and field. After graduating from Mankato in 1972, he was hired as an administrator in Physical Education and Athletics in the Omaha Public Schools (OPS). During his tenure, he revised the playground apparatus policy for OPS regarding play and safety. Fuxa also suggested to a staff member at Sunny Slope a way to get a plan period for the elementary classroom teachers. He approached the Omaha Education Association with the idea that teachers receive plan time while traveling specialists were with their students. He also guided several teachers in the development of the curriculum guide called the “War on Weight.” In 1993, Fuxa proposed to the leadership of the JROTC program in OPS schools that they initiate a biathlon at the high school level, which included running and shooting. It has been an annual event ever since. Near the end of his career with OPS, he volunteered to coach wrestling at Beveridge Middle School where he coached from 1995-1997. His final year, his team won the city wrestling championship. Those same wrestlers, along with members of Morton’s team moved on to Burke High School where they won Burke’s first and only state wrestling championship. Fuxa coached two different youth soccer teams to state cup championships in 1985 and 1986. He became a wrestling official in 1967 and officiated many tournaments, including the Nebraska high school championships. In his final year of officiating, he worked the Big 8 Tournament in Stillwater, Okla. As a member of the Greater Omaha Sports Committee (GOSC) within the Omaha Convention and Tourism Bureau, Fuxa started perhaps the first high school scholar-athlete awards program in the county. The program continues today, forty years later. Also as a member of the GOSC, he helped set up the Big 8 Volleyball Tournament and clinics. These clinics were held at Omaha South during the Big 8 Tournament for girls from the four-state area surrounding Omaha. Fuxa also served on the Nebraska Winter Games committee in the mid-90s. One of his responsibilities was the food service for over 4,000 people at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. He still practices what he preached many year ago working out almost daily. He enjoys archery, cycling, hunting, hiking and has recently taken up pickle ball. Fuxa has two children: Nikki Mildren and Cory Fuxa, who reside in Fort Worth, Texas with their families. There are four grandchildren ranging in age from seven to 18. Jim is married to wife, Roxanne Smith, and they reside in Colorado Springs, Colo. Stu Pospisil Stu Pospisil is an Omaha World-Herald sportswriter and third-generation OPS graduate who has covered high school sports for the newspaper since 1984. He is currently the newspaper’s prep sports coordinator. He attended Fontenelle Elementary and Monroe Junior High before graduating from Benson High in 1980. At Benson, he was involved in National Honor Society, journalism, music and the math and metric clubs. He was team statistician for football, boys basketball and baseball. His professional career began in 1981 with the Sun Newspapers of Omaha while a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He joined the World-Herald in June 1984 and completed his degree at UNL that year. After five years as the Metro Conference beat writer, Pospisil became the statewide prep rater in 1990. He has become regarded as the leading prep authority and historian in the state. He assisted the Metro Conference in assembling its records during its golden anniversary season in 2014-15, which resulted in every school receiving a large plaque to commemorate its conference championship. Pospisil also has chronicled Nebraska golf on all levels for the past 30 years, including the 2013 U.S. Senior Open and the 1996 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the Cox Classic, the Masters and PGA Championships and countless state and local events. Since 1988, he has been the director of The World-Herald match play championship for Omaha-area golfers. He co-founded the revival of the men’s city golf championship in 1998. He has been a contributor to Sports Illustrated, Golf Journal and Gold World. He has been honored by the Nebraska School Activities Association, Nebraska Coaches Association, Nebraska State Athletic Administrators Association, Nebraska PGA and the Metro Omaha Golf Championship. He has received the Nebraska Gold Hall of Fame’s Davis Special Recognition Award and has been inducted into the Benson High Hall of Fame and Burke High Swimming Hall of Fame. Pospisil is married to the former Sherry Fischer of Scribner, Neb. They have seven-year-old twin sons, Adam and Kyle. Legislative Updates Feb. 14, 2017 Dear community members: There are a number of bills that have been introduced at the Nebraska Legislature this session that would impact our school district. Many of these bills are already being discussed at the committee level. It will be important for you to pay attention to these discussions as they unfold. The Omaha Public Schools Board opposes any legislative effort to divert resources to educational programs that are not governed by publicly-elected boards who are accountable to the citizens for the use of their tax dollars. Below is an outline of just a few examples of key bills that could impact OPS. The OPS board opposes each of the following: LB 630 - The Independent Public Schools Act – This bill would allow for charter schools in Nebraska. Charter schools would receive state aid and the public school system would be required to transport students living within their boundaries. LB 662 – Establish a grading system for schools and school districts – This bill would require the state board of education to create an accountability system that would grade schools’ performance A-F based on: (1) student proficient on statewide tests (2) percent of students that make growth in proficiency in reading and math (3) percent of students that make growth in proficiency for the lowest performing 25 percent of students in a particular school in math and reading (4) high school students earning a diploma in 4 years. LB 608 - Parental choice Scholarship Program -This bill would require OPS to pay 75 percent of the anticipated revenue per student to a private school for any eligible student. Eligible students would be k-12 students living in the boundaries of any OPS school at the lowest performance level. OPS would also be required to transport eligible students to private schools. The remaining 25 percent of anticipated revenue per student would go into a property tax relief fund to lower property taxes the following school year. There are numerous other bills that would change some aspect of the state aid formula. Some of the changes proposed in some of these bills could negatively impact OPS’ revenue stream in the years to come. The below outline presents the position that has been taken by our Board of Education for each bill included. For the most recent information regarding currently active bills at the unicameral, please visit:http://nebraskalegislature.gov OSERS The Board of Education of the Omaha Public Schools hereby reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the long term stability of the Omaha School Employees' Retirement System (OSERS). We support the efforts of the Nebraska Legislature to harmonize OSERS with the Nebraska School Employees Retirement System. LB 548 – Merge OSERS with School Employees Retirement System This bill would consolidate the Omaha School Employees Retirement System (OSERS) and the Nebraska School Employee Retirement System (NSERS). OSERS is currently experiencing a declining investments balance. The bill would present a resolution to reverse that trend. The bill does not affect current or retired employees’ benefits under the plan. OPS Board supports. Students LB 595 - Use of Physical Force or Restraint in Response to Student Behavior This bill would allow a teacher or administrator to use necessary physical force or restraint to subdue a student who is physically violent toward himself, those around him or is destructive toward school property until the student no longer presents a danger. Teachers would be allowed to remove a student from their classroom if student repeatedly disrupts a teacher’s ability to effectively teach. Teachers and administrators would not be subject to legal action or administrative discipline. OPS Board will monitor. Parent Education Funding LB 295 – Opportunity Scholarship Act This bill creates a scholarship granting organization that provides scholarships for tuition and fees for students at nongovernmental, private elementary and secondary schools. OPS Board opposes. LB 608 - Parental choice Scholarship Program This bill would require OPS to pay 75 percent of the anticipated revenue per student to a private school for any eligible student. Eligible students would be k-12 students living in the boundaries of any OPS school at the lowest performance level. OPS would also be required to transport eligible students to private schools. The remaining 25 percent of anticipated revenue per student would go into a property tax relief fund to lower property taxes the following school year. OPS Board opposes. School Funding The Board of Education of the Omaha Public Schools hereby reaffirms its support for the following key principles regarding the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunity Support Act (TEEOSA). The Board supports the efforts of the legislature, through TEEOSA, to equalize resources to ensure educational opportunity for all students across the state. Within the formula, the Board especially supports additional funding for children in poverty, English Language Learners, and early childhood education; additional weighting for focus schools; funding for transportation; and the averaging adjustment. The Board opposes changes to TEEOSA that are disequalizing. The Board wishes to emphasize that one of the initial objectives of TEOSA was to provide a stable, predictable system by which school districts could reasonably project, plan and budget for their annual state aid allocation. As such, the Board opposes annual modifications to TEEOSA that are designed to minimize increases or even reduce the level of state funding. The Board supports continued strong funding for Special Education. The Board supports consideration by the legislature of a mechanism to provide for equalization of facility renovation and construction among school districts. LB 119 – Delay Certification Date for TEEOSA This bill would delay the certification date for TEEOSA (the Nebraska school funding formula) from March 1, 2017 to June 1, 2017. OPS Board opposes. LB 144 – Reduced Percentage of Valuation of Agricultural Land This bill would adjust the percentage of land valuation of agricultural land for the purposes of the TEEOSA (the Nebraska school funding) formula. The percentage would drop from 72 percent in 2017 to 50 percent in 2018; 40 percent in 2019, 30 percent in 2020 and 20 percent for all years thereafter. OPS Board opposes. LB 265 – TEEOSA: Foundation AID This bill would provide that each school get a minimum amount of state aid per student. In fiscal year 2018-19 it would be $1,500 per student, $2,500 per student in 2019-2010, $3,500 per student in 2020-2021, $4,500 per student in 2021-2022 and $5,500 per student in 2022-2023 and after. OPS Board opposes. LB 266 – Agricultural Land Valuation This bill would reduce the valuation of agricultural and horticultural land for purposes of property tax to 50 percent in 2018, 40 percent in 2019, 30 percent in 2020 and after. The acceptable range to be used for school district taxation would be 44 percent to 50 percent in 2018, 34 percent to 40 percent in 2010 and 24 percent to 30 percent in 2020. OPS Board opposes. LB 270 – Expanded learning Opportunity Grant Program Act This bill would set aside $750,000 for the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 to the Department of Education to carry out the Expanded Learning Opportunity Grant Program. OPS Board supports. LB 338 – Income Approach Valuation of Agricultural Land This bill would require that agricultural and horticultural land be valued for property tax purposes at its value of use. The Property Tax Administrator would establish capitalization rates to be applied to agricultural land. The capitalization rates would be set aggregated agricultural use values, based on different types of agricultural land, between 60 to 75 percent of actual value. The aggregate agricultural use value could not increase more than 3 ½ percent from prior year. OPS Board opposes. LB 409 – TEEOSA: Reduce Base Limitation This would reduce the budget limitation rate from 2 1/2 percent to zero percent for fiscal year 2017-18 and 2018-19. OPS board opposes. LB 510 – Installment Contracts This bill would limit any political subdivision from having a total outstanding obligation under installment contracts to exceed $25 million. OPS Board opposes. LB 521 – TEEOSA Early Childhood Education This bill would increase the early childhood education fall membership included in the TEEOSA (state education funding) formula from 60 percent to 80 percent. Would also include calculation for early childhood transportation costs in TEEOSA. OPS Board supports. LB 540 – TEEOSA: Temporary Aid Adjustment This bill would add a temporary aid adjustment to schools fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19. The adjustments would be equal to a percentage of the formula need of each school district. The goal is to implement a reduction in TEEOSA to assist with state’s budget crisis without making significant and long-term changes to TEEOSA formula. OPS Board supports. LB 571 TEEOSA: Allocated Income Tax This bill would remove the minimum levy adjustment from the definition of allocated income tax funds. It would provide 20 percent of the aggregate statewide income tax liability of all resident individuals be disbursed as option payments. OPS Board opposes. LB 572 – Termination of TEEOSA This bill would terminate TEEOSA effective Jan. 1, 2020. It would terminate the property tax credit act and Nebraska Advantage Act on the same date. OPS Board opposes. LB 576 - No Growth in Property Taxes This bill would keep an owner’s property tax bill for 2017 and 2018 at no higher than their tax bill for 2016. OPS Board opposes. LB 602 – Valuation of Agricultural Land This bill would value agricultural and horticultural land using the capitalized net earning approach to determine the value of the land for purposes of taxation. Capitalization rate would be set at 6 percent. OPS Board opposes. LB 640- Limitation of School Levy This bill would reduce the maximum levy for districts from $1.05 to $1.00. Funds from the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund for districts would be distributed when the general fund property tax receipts exceed 60 percent of the total general fund revenue. The cash fund would be increased each year at the same rate of increase to TEEOSA. OPS Board opposes. Schools/Programs The Omaha Public Schools Board opposes any legislative effort to divert resources to educational programs that are not governed by publicly-elected boards who are accountable to the citizens for the use of their tax dollars. LB 630 - The Independent Public Schools Act This bill would allow for charter schools in Nebraska. Charter schools would receive state aid and public school would be required to transport students living within their boundaries. OPS Board opposes. LB 634 – Virtual Schools This bill would provide a definition of virtual schools. Virtual school students would then be included in the TEEOSA calculation. OPS Board supports. Teachers LB 525 – Master Teacher Program Fund This bill would decrease the amount of lottery dollars going to the Education Innovation Grant Program from 17 percent to 16 percent. It would redirect that 1 percent decrease to the Master Teacher Program Fund. OPS Board will monitor. LB 568- Temporary Teaching Certificates This bill would allow for temporary teaching certificates. Applicants would have complete an application and pay a fee. Applicants would be required to be over 21, possess a high school diploma, complete 24 hours of in-service training, 10 hours of classroom observation, complete a course and pass an exam on the Constitution of the United States and Constitution of Nebraska with score a of 80 percent or higher. OPS Board opposes. LB 650 – Alternative Certification for Teachers This bill would allow the State Board of Education to grant teaching certificates to any person based on their college credits earned, to someone holding a doctoral degree, anyone with a valid teaching certificate in another state, to anyone with two years teaching experience at the postsecondary level or to anyone with a certificate issued by national or regional educator credentialing agency as long as they pass the appropriate subject area examination. This bill would also allow for adjunct teaching certificates to be issued for part-time teaching positions. OPS Board will monitor. Transportation LB 279 – Lap-Shoulder Belts on School Buses This bill would require school buses purchased on or after date law went in to affect to be equipped with lap-shoulder belts for each passenger. OPS Board will monitor. Other LB 662 – Establish a Grading System for schools and School Districts This bill would require the state board of education to create an accountability system that would grade schools’ performance A-F based on: (1) student proficient on statewide tests (2) percent of students that make growth in proficiency in reading and math (3) percent of students that make growth in proficiency for the lowest performing 25 percent of students in a particular school in math and reading (4) high school students earning a diploma in 4 years. OPS Board opposes. 2016 OPS Athletic Hall of Fame John Stella John Stella was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, attended St. Peter grade school and graduated from South High School in 1953. While at South, he played basketball and baseball for Coach Conrad “Cornie” Collins and played American Legion Baseball in 1951 for Coach Harold Hunter and for Cornie Collins in 1952. In 1953, he played for Coach Red Brummer in Woodbine, Iowa, after disqualifying to play American Legion Baseball due to his age. Stella went on to play baseball at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (then Omaha University) for Coach Virgil Yelkin from 1954 to 1957. In 1955, “Runt” Marr offered him a professional contract to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals but he opted to remain in college and finish his degree. In 1959, he signed a contract as a pitcher and outfielder with the San Francisco Giants and played for its minor league – the Hastings Giants – in Nebraska. He left professional baseball the following year to work for the U.S. Postal Service and retired in 1992. In his spare time, he served as a coach for the St. Ann team of the Omaha Catholic Youth Organizations Baseball League (1961-1966), South High School’s American Legion Baseball team (1982-2012) and continues to serve as the team manager. In addition, he served as the assistant coach for South’s spring baseball team from 1985 to 2012. Honors and awards he’s achieved include the Nebraska Baseball Coaches Man of the Year in 1992, 1994 and 2002, Nebraska Baseball Coaches Association’s District 5 Assistant Coach of the Year in 1996, South High Packer Greats Hall of Fame in 2003, Omaha Old-Timers Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, was honored by the city when the baseball diamond at Brown Park was named John Stella Ball Field in 2009 and he was inducted into the Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. Additionally, he was named the Sons of Italy’s Italian/American of the Year in 2003 and honorary president of the Santa Lucia Festival in 2014. He is a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 331, and serves on the American Italian Heritage Society, Croatian Cultural Society of Omaha, Omaha G.I. Forum, National High School Baseball Coaches Association, Nebraska Coaches Association, Nebraska/Western Iowa Oldtimers Association, Santa Lucia Festival Committee and Sons of Italy. Calvin Jones Calvin Jones was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised by his grandmother, Pauline Smith, who instilled in him the importance of empowerment, education, resiliency and perseverance toward excellence. He graduated from Central High School in 1991. As a student-athlete at Central, Jones was a consensus prep All-American for Coach William Reed and established Class A rushing records for a game (367 yards), a season (2,196 yards) and a career (3,965 yards). In 1989, he averaged 8.4 yards per attempt, scored 22 touchdowns and was the Gatorade Circle of Champions Nebraska Running Back of the Year. Additionally, he was a track and field state champion sprinter in the 100 and 200 meters. Jones’ career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is legendary. As a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and All-American I-back, he recorded two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, earning him Second All-Time honors at UNL. His career record of 3,153 yards and 40 touchdowns earned him 12th in the Big Eight. He averaged 105.1 yards per game. Honors he received during his college football career include Second Team All-Big Eight (1991), Sports Illustrated Player of the Week (11/11/91 vs. Kansas), Big Eight Offensive Newcomer of the Year (1991), Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year (Coaches, 1992), Sophomore All-American (Football News, 1992), Honorable Mention All-American (UPI, 1992), Second Team All-American (Football News, 1992), Two-time Consensus All-Big Eight (1992, 1993), Honorable Mention All-American (UPI, 1993), Third Team All-American (Football News, AP, 1993), Four-time Big Eight Player of the Week (1993), Doak Walker Award finalist (1993) and preseason All-American (1991). Oakland selected Jones in the sixth round of the 1994 NFL draft. In 1997, during his season with the Green Bay Packers, Jones played on the winning team in Super Bowl XXXI (31). In 2004, he was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. Christy Neneman Christy Neneman was born in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from North High School in 2000. She began her sports career while in grade school at All-Saints Catholic School, playing baseball, softball, soccer, football and basketball. At North High School, Neneman was a three-time All-State and Super All-State selection, a three-time All-Metro choice, served as captain of the All-Tournament All-Class team her sophomore year and was named Miss Nebraska Basketball as a senior. Neneman attended Creighton University where she established herself as one of the greatest players in Missouri Valley Conference history. As a team leader and go-to player, she earned All-Freshman Team honors in her first season with the Bluejays, notching 19 points and eight rebounds in her first career start. The feisty guard continued to blaze a path through the Valley and was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore and junior. Neneman was the leading scorer for Creighton during the Jays’ march to the NCAA Tournament in 2002, averaging 16.6 points per game in a 27-7 season. She was named to the All MVC First Team three times during her career. Neneman finished her career at Creighton with 1,732 points, which remains the fourth best in the school’s history. Her name appears all over the record books, including her career-high of 39 points scored against Drake in 2002, the fifth largest total for Creighton. Neneman is a member of the Creighton Sports Hall of Fame, along with the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame. She graduated from Creighton in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Neneman went back to school to pursue a degree as a physical therapist assistant and graduated from Clarkson College in August of 2014. Today, she works at the Neuro Rehabilitation Center as a physical therapist assistant. We salute Christy Neneman inducted into the 2016 OPS Athletic Hall of Fame. Clark Preble Clark Preble was born and raised in Omaha and attended Belvedere Elementary School, Springville Elementary School and Nathan Hale Junior High before graduating from Northwest High School in 1984. In football, he lettered all three years and helped the Huskies earn a three-year record of 28 -5 and make a state championship appearance his sophomore year, a semifinal appearance his junior year and a quarterfinal appearance his senior year. In basketball, he played varsity his junior year and while at Northwest the team earned a record of 56-17 and advance to the state tournament each year. In baseball, the team earned a three-year record of 64-5, won state titles all three years, were named Collegiate Baseball National Champions during the 1983 season and were second in the Collegiate Baseball rankings in 1984. Individually, he was named All-Metro his junior year and All-Metro, All-State his senior year. During his senior year, Preble had a 0.56 earned run average, which was a Northwest record. In Legion baseball, the Huskies won AAA Midget titles his ninth and 10th grade summers and Legion titles his 11th and 12th grade summers. His Legion career was highlighted by a 50-1 record his sophomore summer. Preble attended Auburn University where he was named to the All Southeastern Conference baseball team his junior year. During his senior year, the Tigers won the Southeastern Conference tourney, he was named to the All-Tourney Team and the team came within two wins of making the College World Series. Preble graduated from Auburn University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. In 1990, Preble returned to the Omaha Public Schools to teach mathematics at Nathan Hale Junior High School. In 1995, he transferred to his alma mater where he has taught ever since. At Northwest, Preble has coached basketball, track and baseball. During his years as an assistant baseball coach for Bill Olson, the teams won state titles in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994 in Legion ball and 1994 in high school baseball. A highlight of his basketball-coaching career occurred during the 2004-2005 season when his freshman team went 18-0. Clark earned his master’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1997. He is married to wife, Maureen and they have two sons: Chad and Connor. Jay Ball Following his father’s example, Jay Ball began his teaching and coaching career with the Omaha Public Schools in 1987. In 1995, he became the head football coach at South High before taking over the same position at Central High in 2006. In the spring of 1998, Ball and six other OPS high school football coaches met with the purpose of improving athletes’ performance on the field at a camp that stressed fundamentals through individual and team drills. In June of 1998, they held their first team camp at Norris Middle School that culminated a Jamobree/Scrimmage Day at UNO. Outback continued to sponsor the camp until 2004. In 2005 MG Contracting and Design, owned by Ball’s sister Jill and late brother-in-law Mark Goodrich, became the new sponsors. Since 2005, the camp has grown into a premier high school team camp in the state of Nebraska. Today, the camp includes Papio South, Bellevue West, OPS and Concordia, attracts tremendous media attention, and is recognized by players, coaches and parents, as the event where the football season begins and player development is highlighted. Since 2005, teams participating in the MG Camp have made the state playoff semi-finals seven times, finished as state runner-ups twice and crowned as state champions three times. In the final state ranking for 2015-2016, teams who attended the MG Camp held four of the top six spots for the season. The opportunity to help improve the lives of young people and the football teams of OPS is a core belief of the Ball family. Jay Ball is married to his wife Bette, they have a stepson Kris, and a granddaughter Hailey. John Morse John Morse began his baseball career with Murphy’s Midgets for Coach Duce Belford in 1950. He attended Benson High School and graduated in 1953. As a student-athlete, he served as a guard on the school’s basketball team for Coach Scotty Orcutt, lettered seven times in basketball and baseball, earned Intercity in basketball honors and Second Team Intercity in baseball honors. At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he lettered eight times and was a catcher for Coach Virgil Yelkin for two years and then Coach Jack Cotton. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1957 and his master’s degree in education in 1975. He taught at Technical High School from 1958-1984. As a coach, his freshman basketball team was unbeaten in 1964 and in 1966; and the baseball team took the state title and won the district title in 1967. He taught at Benson High School from 1984 until his retirement in 1993. During his tenure as a history teacher for the Omaha Public Schools, he completed notable work in history, human relations and multicultural programs, which exposed students to Black history, American Indian history, Chicano American history and Asian American history. As a member of the Nebraska Advisory Committee in the 1970s, he helped schools integrate multicultural education into their classrooms and wrote a teachers’ manual for integrating Black history into American History textbooks for the Omaha Public Schools. He taught human relations classes at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Metropolitan Community College from 1993-2008. Awards he received throughout his career include the Omaha Education Association’s Human Relations Teacher of the Year (1980), Benson Booster Club’s Teacher of the Year (1989), Nebraska Cooper Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching (1986), and the Peter Kiewit Foundation’s Teacher Achievement Award (1991). He was inducted into the Technical High School Hall of Fame and the Benson High School Hall of Fame in 1991. Morse was married to his wife, Anita, for 49 years before she passed away in January of 2006. They have three children, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Jill Goodrich As an Omaha Public Schools’ graduate, Jill Ball grew up spending Friday nights at various football stadiums around the metro area, cheering for Technical High School and Bryan High where her father, Jerry Ball, was the defensive coordinator. Soon, the Ball family had to divide their football watching and cheering time between North High, South High and Central High once Jill’s brother, Jay, started his football-coaching career. In the spring of 1992, Jill met her future husband, Mark Goodrich. After becoming a member of the family in 1994, Mark soon became a passionate supporter of football even though he was more comfortable as a swimmer and being outdoors fishing and hunting. In the summer of 2004, Jill’s brother and father approached the couple about sponsoring and becoming the directors of a high school football camp formerly known as the Outback Camp. They accepted and in spring of 2005, the MG Contracting and Design Football Camp – soon to be known as the MG Camp – made its debut. Mark and Jill enjoyed being a part of such an amazing group for 11 years. Sadly, Mark passed away on January 11, 2016 and the decision was made to dissolve MG Contracting and Design, Inc. and the company no longer sponsors the camp. Goodrich says the camp would not have experienced the success it did if not for the dedicated coaches whose objectives were to ensure that each participant received individual instruction, fundamentals of the game, and proper technique. Mark and Jill considered it a privilege and an honor to have contributed to the young players of the Omaha football community and the OPS Athletic Department. Ken Dirks Ken Dirks was born in Nashville, Kansas and graduated from Nashville-Zenda High School in 1971. As a student athlete, Dirks lettered in both basketball & baseball and developed his love for sports. After graduation, Dirks attended St. John’s & Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas on a basketball & baseball scholarship. He student taught at a middle school for the Wichita, Kansas Cooperative Urban Teacher Education program and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1975. Dirks began his teaching career with the Omaha Public Schools in 1975, and spent the first three years as a traveling physical education teacher at Wakonda, Fontenelle, Belvedere and Franklin Elementary Schools. In 1979, he transferred to Lewis and Clark Middle School where he taught physical education and coached for the next 32 years. During that time, his teams won city championships in football, girls basketball, boys basketball, wrestling, track and boys soccer. He also served as the head baseball coach at Central High School in the spring of 1986 and 1987. Dirks has been married to his wife and high school sweet heart, Shirley Allender, for 40 years and they have four grown children: Joe, Dustin, Amber and Ashley. They have six grandchildren, with another on the way. Today, Dirks is the state director of Nebraska’s United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) for Baseball where he sanctions teams and tournaments for athletes ages seven to 14. Terry Thomas Terry Thomas was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1969 and graduated from Burke High School in 1987. He attended Coffeeville Community College in Coffeeville, Kansas, Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. At Burke High School, Thomas was a standout student-athlete in track and field and football. Thomas started his track career as a bantam for the North Omaha Boys Club. He was known for his speed and agility. In track field, he was a member of the first place 4 by 100 relay team in 1985, and first individually in the 100 and 200 in 1986, and in the 200 and 400 in 1987. At the time, he held the metro record in the 400 with a time of 48.93 seconds. During his senior year in high school, Thomas was All-State and selected to the All-Metro First Team. In football, he was an All-Nebraska wide receiver in 1986, participated in the 1987 Shrine Bowl and held the school record with 1,220 yards his senior year. Thomas has served as a track and field and football mentor for young boys and girls. Today, he serves as the head drummer during Sunday services at Pleasant Green Baptist Church and oversees the drum section for the Pleasant Green Marching Saints. Scarlett Wilson Scarlett Wilson was born in northwest Arkansas. She attended Rogers (AR) Public Schools from the 1st through 12th grades. As a student-athlete at Arkansas Tech University, she lettered all four years in basketball, volleyball, soccer-speedball and tennis. She graduated with bachelor’s degree in physical education, English and social studies. Wilson began her teaching career at Mabelvale High School near Littlerock, Arkansas. In addition to teaching, she coached team and individual sports and played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for two years. She later accepted a physical education position at Central High School in San Angelo, Texas. Over the course of four summer sessions Wilson earned her master’s degree in education/physical education at the University of Arkansas. In the 1960s Wilson’s husband was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, that’s when Wilson began teaching at Indian Hill Middle School and Bryan Junior/Senior High School. Another military transfer took the family to Tainan Air Force Base (TAFB) in Taiwan. There, she taught conversational English at a girls’ middle school, physical fitness and swimming at TAFB, and Pacific-Rim volleyball. Wilson later returned to Omaha Bryan High School and coached tennis, gymnastics, swimming, diving and soccer. In addition to her professional career, she coached U.S. Synchronized Swimming, served as a scorekeeper for basketball, volleyball and wrestling, volunteered at state events and registered as a referee in volleyball, basketball, swimming, diving and soccer. She retired from OPS 1998 and went on to teach language exploration and health at Elkhorn Middle School and then physical fitness at Elkhorn High School. After 50 years, she officially ended her education career. Today, Wilson referees volleyball, swimming and diving, serves as a basketball scorekeeper, volunteers and continues to maintain her childhood farm in Cross Hollows, Arkansas. She also enjoys activities with her daughter, Lara, her son in-law Mark, and their two sons Jake and Zack. Tony Veland Tony Veland was born and raised in Omaha. He attended Benson High School where he excelled in the classroom, graduating third in his class. As a standout athlete he received nine varsity letters in football, basketball, and track. Veland earned the Second team All State and All Division honors as a quarterback and set the record for total yards in the 1991 Shrine bowl at 260. After graduating from Benson High School in 1991, Tony attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and business. At UNL, Veland played as a defensive back and starter for both national championship teams in 1994 and 1995. During his senior year, Veland was selected as captain of the team, he earned Second Team All Big Eight honors for his safety play and an invitation to the Hula Bowl. The Denver Broncos selected Veland during the sixth round of the 1996 NFL draft. Veland won a ring as a member of the Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXXII championship team in 1997 over the Green Bay Packers and ended his playing career in 1998 with the Carolina Panthers. Veland went on to become the Defensive Coordinator of the Omaha Beef of United Indoor Football. He spent six seasons coaching the Beef. Today, Tony Veland is an advisor with Heritage Financial, he helps coach football at Northwest High Magnet School and devotes time to outreach programs such as TeamMates Mentoring program. Tony has two children, Tony who is 25, and Arianna who is 18. Pinewood Elementary Summer School Students Celebrate Cultures Pinewood Elementary students studied a different culture each week of summer school. The school’s library media specialist organized a wide range of activities for students and the surrounding community, and invited several guest speakers to the school to enhance the lessons. Guests included: a Mexican folkloric dance group; Hispanic storyteller and artist Linda Garcia; African storyteller Awele; African performance artist Charles Ahovissi; Chinese dancers and martial artists from the Omaha Chinese Culture Association; and origami artist Chizuko Takechi of the Nebraska Arts Council. Click here to see a photo slideshow of some of the presentations and activities! 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