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Westgate Educator Named Teacher of the Month

Mary Morris, 3rd Grade Teacher at Westgate Elementary, has been named January Teacher of the Month for Westside Community Schools. Morris is awarded $100, thanks to Natalie Williams and Amigo’s Restaurant at 84th & Dodge. Morris was nominated by Westside administrators, colleagues, and community members. One nominator wrote: “Mary has a heart for all students. She has worked with some of the most difficult, showing an understanding of what they need to be successful. Going…

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Landen Foundation provides donation to Westside TeamMates

The Landen Foundation has generously offered a financial donation to the Westside Community Schools TeamMates program. Patty and CL Landen, III contacted Westside earlier this month about supporting Westside TeamMates. TeamMates matches students to to adult mentors; the matches meet in school once a week during the academic year. Mentors and mentees are matched based on interests and hobbies. During their meetings, matches can play games, craft, do a physical activity, or just talk. The TeamMates of…

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Westside’s Plautz named 2018 Scholar Athlete

Westside’s Dylan Plautz has been recognized as a Scholar Athlete by the 2018 Greater Omaha Sports Committee. Plautz, accompanied by his parents, Westside High School Principal Jay Opperman, and Athletic Director Tom Kerkman, was recognized at the Greater Omaha Sports Committee Banquet earlier this week. Plautz, who plays Varsity football and basketball, is also a top-achieving student in the classroom. As Quarterback for the Westside Warriors Varsity Football Team, he led Westside to the state…

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Kindergarten Enrollment for 2018-19 Now Open

Attention District Residents! We are now enrolling students who reside in our District and will be eligible to enter Kindergarten in August of 2018. If you live in District 66 and have a child who qualifies, click here to begin the enrollment process. Click here for more information about this process and the documentation you will need to provide. If you have questions, please contact the Westside Welcome Center at 402-390-2100.  

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Important Information about District 66 Tax Bill

Many District 66 residents have received 2018 property valuations from the Douglas County Assessor’s office. We want to ensure you understand differences you may see on this bill when compared to statements in past years. Please note: the Learning Community levy has been $0.95 in past years; it is now $0. That $0.95 is now accounted for in the line item property tax levy. There is no .95 increase in collection by Westside Community Schools,…

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Lockout vs. Lockdown: Responses for Westside Schools

From the office of Alan Bone, Director of Student Services What’s the Difference Between a Lockout and a Lockdown? In December, a high school in a nearby district received a 911 report that someone with a gun was inside the school. Administrators evacuated the school as police moved in; no gunman was discovered, and within days, police arrested those allegedly behind what was found to be a hoax. You may have noticed signs in our…

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Westside Snow Day Information Posted

Nebraska winters can get pretty tough at times. When snow accumulates and temperatures drop to dangerously low levels, Westside Community Schools shares with parents a concern for the safety of their children. Here are a few guidelines to ensure we work together for the safety of all students. CLICK HERE to download the 2017-2018 Snow Days Guide.

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Slideshow: Oakdale Elementary Ribbon Cutting & Open House

Our ribbon cutting and open house at Oakdale Elementary were a success! Than you to all of our District leaders, design team members, educators past and present, students and alumni, and community members who joined us to unveil this beautiful, new school. Hundreds toured the school December 14th, which is on time and on budget to open to students and staff January 10th. Click here for more information about the event and Oakdale Elementary. Thank…

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Top 10 Westside Stories of 2017

2017 Year in Review What an incredible year it has been for Westside Community Schools! We have reasons to celebrate in academics, athletics, the arts, citizenship and service, community, and more. It’s tough to narrow down our Top Stories of 2017, but we did it with the help of social media/website stats and input from our District leaders, teacher and students. What was YOUR favorite Westside story of 2017?!?   #10  Westside Swimming Honored With…

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December Westside Pride newsletter available

Please enjoy the December edition of Westside Pride, the District e-newsletter for Westside Community Schools. CLICK HERE to download: Westside Pride Newsletter December 2017

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Westside Middle School Educator Named Teacher of the Month

Laura Mann, Language Arts Teacher at Westside Middle School, has been named December Teacher of the Month for Westside Community Schools. Mann is awarded $100, thanks to PinPoint Home Sales Group with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate. CLICK HERE to watch as Mrs. Mann is surprised by Westside Director of Curriculum Jim Sides and Principal Russ Olsen, learning she has been named Teacher of the Month! Mann received multiple nominations for this honor; Director of…

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Westside Community Schools unveils new Oakdale Elementary School

Westside Community Schools unveiled a new school, Oakdale Elementary, on Thursday, December 14. Students and District leaders held a brief ceremony at the school at 1:00pm, followed by a VIP tour for special guests, including alumni who attended Oakdale in the 1930’s. Speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony included: Rosie Zweiback, former President of the Westside Board of Education John Hughes, Chairman of the Bond Oversight Committee Beth Morrissette, President of the Westside Board of…

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Camp Westside scheduled for Summer 2018

ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE: Where will your summer adventure be? Find yours with Camp Westside Early Childhood Centers.   Mark your calendars now to sign your School-Age child up for an explorative and adventurous summer! Our Summer program runs May 30- August 9, 2018. Registration begins March 5, 2018. No minimum weeks required and flexible scheduling. Email weccsummer@westsideecc.org for more information and questions!

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10 students move forward in State Geography Bee competition

During the week of Dec. 4, all 10 Westside elementary schools held a School Geography Bee.  This was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Each school winner will now take a qualifying test for a spot to compete in the Nebraska State Bee at UNO on April 6, 2018.  Westside High School student Brendan Pennington is Nebraska’s reigning…

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Westside Foundation to open new childcare center

The Westside Foundation will open a new child care center in 2019 for up to 100 students inside what is now Countryside Church. The future owners of the church, Coram Deo, entered into the agreement with the Foundation this fall. It will allow the Foundation to operate an early childhood program on the building’s lower level. “We’re excited to see our building used in ways that will serve and bless the broader community,” said Coram…

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2018 Caucus Date, Rules Set

The 2018 Caucus will be held Thursday, February 1, 2018, at Westside High School, 8701 Pacific St.  Voter sign-in begins at 6 p.m. and the Caucus will begin at 7 p.m. The Caucus is held to select up to four candidates for two positions on the Westside Community Schools Board of Education. The names of up to four persons who receive the most votes will be placed on the ballot at the statewide primary election on…

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Whole Foods Market Donates Thousands To Oakdale Community Club

Whole Foods Market presents Oakdale Elementary’s Community Club with more than $3,700, after choosing the Westside Community Schools organization as its final 2017 5% Community Support Day beneficiary. This was the first time Whole Foods Market Omaha has selected a school to benefit from their quarterly Community Support Day, a community giving program event celebrated by company locations throughout the country. For every purchase made on September 20, 2017, Whole Foods Market donated back 5%…

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6th Grader Leads Westside’s Best Spellers in District Competition

Brandon Moore, 6th Grader at Rockbrook Elementary, will represent Westside Community Schools at the Omaha World Herald’s Midwest Spelling Bee in Spring 2018. Brandon won the Westside District Spelling Bee Friday, beating out the 30 best spellers throughout all elementary schools and Westside Middle School. The top two spellers at each elementary school, and the top ten spellers at Westside Middle School, won the competitions at each of their respective schools to qualify for District…

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Oakdale Special Education leader named November Teacher of the Month

Jen Borges, Special Education Teacher at Oakdale Elementary, has been named November Teacher of the Month for Westside Community Schools. Borges is awarded $100, thanks to Nick and Rachel Nun with Nun Real Estate Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate. Borges was nominated by two coworkers, including fellow Oakdale Special Education Teacher Jena Coil, who shared the following: “Mrs. Borges works hard before, during, and after duty hours to make sure the needs of…

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Westside Cycling Wins State Championship

The Westside Cycling Team has won the Nebraska state cycling championship for a fourth consecutive year. The overall team championship is awarded to the school that has earned the most points over the course of the season in all four categories combined. Westside beat out the second place team by more than 1000 points. Two Westside cyclists, Jonas Turman and Anton Burkovetskiy, were also recognized for their contributions over the last four years competing in…

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Record-setting 39 Westside students perform with All-State Chorus

A record-setting 39 Westside High School students performed with the 2017 All State Chorus! These talented student performers span all vocal ranges and styles; an additional two students were named as Chorus alternates. 13 more Westside High School students were selected for 2017 All State Jazz Band, All State Orchestra and All State Concert Band.   2017 All-State Chorus Soprano 1: Isabela Hovorka, Alexis Rose, Jill Stark, Maddy Stark, Ella Vraspir Soprano 2: Maddie Akers,…

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Westside, Nebraska Furniture Mart announce partnership

Westside Community Schools, the Westside Foundation, and Nebraska Furniture Mart are delighted to announce a new partnership to create the Nebraska Furniture Mart school of entrepreneurial thinking at Westside High School. Nebraska Furniture Mart will invest $150,000 into a 2-year pilot fully immersing students into the business world to learn entrepreneurial skills, leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and corporate insight as they prepare for future careers. Beginning in January 2018, select Westside High business students…

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State Senators See Success At Westgate Elementary

Members of the Nebraska Legislature recently visited Westgate Elementary to see evidence of the success in Westgate’s reading programs. At the invitation of Superintendent Dr. Blane McCann, four State Senators spent time at Westgate on Monday to learn firsthand what Westside educators are doing to help all students become proficient in reading by the end of third grade. In the last five years, Westside’s percentage of students reading proficiently and no longer in need of…

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Westside celebrates Halloween 2017

Classrooms and buildings throughout Westside Community Schools held Halloween and Fall celebrations to mark the holiday and the changing of the seasons!

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Westside Middle School students selected for Code Crush Experience

Six Westside Middle School students have been selected for UNO’s Code Crush in the 17-18 school year, an Immersion Experience encouraging interest and experience in emerging IT fields for 8th and 9th grade girls throughout the Midwest. Erin Mosier, Kori Dyche, Jenna Liakos, and Claire Wing are the latest members of an elite group of Westside Middle School students accepted to take part in this experience, selected in Fall 2017. For several days in November,…

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Westside senior named Wendy’s Heisman Winner

Lauren Fehr has been named a Wendy’s High School Heisman Winner for Westside High School. The award was established by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas to honor high school seniors who share Wendy’s values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field. Lauren has volunteered with Westside’s Outdoor Ed program; she’s a member of the Varsity Girls Basketball and Soccer teams; she’s a member of Westside’s award-winning…

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Westside student named QuestBridge finalist

Westside High School senior Madeleine Rauhauser has been named a finalist for the QuestBridge program, a full 4-year scholarship worth more than $200,000 at America’s most elite universities. QuestBridge is a non-profit program linking high-achieving, deserving students with educational and scholarship opportunities at leading U.S. colleges and universities. This year, an estimated 15,606 students applied for the QuestBridge program. Only a third of those students are finalists, with only 17% coming from Midwest schools. Madeleine…

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10 Westside students chosen for Nebraska Middle School Honor Choir

10 Westside Middle School students have been selected for the prestigious Nebraska Middle School Honor Choir, an elite assembly including the state’s most talented young vocalists. WMS students chosen to participate are Elena Rosenblatt, Elina Gigantelli, Elinor Bowen, Sanaa Slaughter, Lina Shukry, Ethan NewMeyer, Aidan Upton, Kidus Tewodros, Wyatt Almeida, and Jack Scioli. Nicholas Djernes leads the Westside Middle School vocal music program, directing numerous classes and opportunities including large group choirs and smaller group performance choirs. “We have an 8th grade choir program of…

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Westbrook Educator Named Teacher of the Month

Makeisha Miller, 2nd grade teacher at Westbrook Elementary, has been named October’s Teacher of the Month for Westside Community Schools. Miller will be awarded $100 thanks to Chrissy Cameron and Angel Starks with Nebraska Realty. Click here to watch as Mrs. Miller was surprised with the news by Westside administration and Westbrook Teacher Leader Amy Falcone! Westbrook Speech-Language Pathologist Brandy Klipfel, who nominated Miller, shared the following: She is a great educator, supports all ability…

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Westside Student Named K-12 Tech Student of 2017

Emma Carlson, junior at Westside High School, has been selected as the K-12 Tech Student of 2017 for the AIM Tech Celebration Awards. This award is presented annually to a tech-savvy high school or college student with an excellent work ethic and superior technological skills. This student has used their talents to help others understand how to leverage technology to reach new heights, gain efficiencies and improve capabilities. Emma was nominated by Westside Middle School…

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7 Westside schools named Apple Distinguished Schools

Westside Community Schools is pleased to announce that seven of its schools have been recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools for 2017–2019 for their implementation of transformational learning through the deployment of personal devices to every student.Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, ​collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment and have documented results of…

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ALERT: Are you receiving District emails?

Updates from Westside Community Schools are sent through our School Messenger system. We have noticed that some COX and AOL email addresses are being auto-blocked. We continue to work with these providers to troubleshoot the problem and find a solution. If you feel you are not receiving emails, newsletters and/or alerts from either the District or your school principal, please contact Kim Sedivy at sedivy.kimberly@westside66.net.

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New scholarship will honor legendary Westside coach

Westside High School and the Westside Foundation are proud to announce the creation of a Coach Lou Miloni Legacy fund, honoring the longtime wrestling coach and cherished educator. The Westside Foundation has raised more than $60,000 as part of an overall goal of $150,000 to continue to impact the storied program Coach Miloni created at Westside High School. In his 36-years at Westside High, Coach Miloni’s teams earned 16 District Team Championships and 2 Class…

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Westside Clothing Closet seeking donations

The Westside Clothing Closet will host a donation drive from October 16-November 3. Many children in our schools come to class without needed clothes, undergarments, shoes or coats. The Westside Clothing Closet, organized by District 66 parents, collects these items for Westside students and their siblings. The Westside Clothing Closet is currently looking for the following: NEW sock and underwear for boys and girls (age 5 – high school) Boys sweatpants (5T-14) Girls leggings (5T-14)…

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Rockbrook Educator named Star 104.5’s Teacher of the Week

Rockbrook Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Ann Miller has been named Star 104.5’s Teacher of the Week. Miller was surprised Wednesday morning during class by a Star 104.5 crew, along with gifts and prizes. Miller was nominated by the parent of one of her students, who noted her ingenuity and communication techniques used to connect with all families. Rockbrook Elementary Principal Garret Higginbotham, as well as Westside’s Chief Financial Officer Bob Zagozda, were also on hand to…

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District says goodbye to longtime teacher

Our condolences are with the family and loved ones of Teri Donoho who died over the weekend after a brave battle with cancer. Teri was a former teacher at Westside High School and Westside Middle School. A memorial service will be held Wednesday at 6pm at Crosby Burket Swanson Golden Funeral Home Colonial Chapel. CLICK HERE for more information. In lieu of flowers, her husband asks that donations be made to Crossroads Clinic (http://crossroadsclinicok.com) or…

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Westside ACT scores above state average

MarkWeichel

A message from Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning Dr. Mark Weichel   Westside Community Schools recently received our results for the Spring 2017 ACT exam. This was an exciting time for our school district, as these results represent our entire 2017 class, the first in which all students took the test at least once. 434 Westside students took the ACT in Spring; we truly tested everyone who qualified. This not only provided every, single…

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Partnership means free behavioral assessments, counseling and parent seminars

A valuable collaboration is in place between Westside Community Schools and Children’s Behavioral Health at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. This partnership allows us to address the mental health needs of our children and families districtwide. The services offered through the Student Assistance Program include free assessments and short term counseling, where students and their parents are invited to complete two free face-to-face sessions. Children’s Behavioral Health therapists are able to help you address any…

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Paddock Road Named 2017 National Blue Ribbon School

Westside Community Schools is proud to announce Paddock Road Elementary School has been named a 2017 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. September 28, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 342 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017, including Westside’s Paddock Road Elementary. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of…

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Westside Swimming Honored with 2017 Dominant Dynasties Award

The Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has selected the Omaha Westside High School Swimming Teams from 1973-1988 to receive the Dominant Dynasties Award for 2017. Under the direction of Hall of Fame Coach Cal Bentz, Westside earned national respect in the sport of swimming, winning 16 Boys and Girls championship titles between 1963 and 1977. Bentz was known for innovative coaching techniques to improve athletes’ performance and time in the pool. Bentz…

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Westside Students Score High on ACT, National Merit lists

At least six Westside High School students have scored a near perfect 35 on recent ACT tests, and seven Westside High School students have been named National Merit semi-finalists. Patrick Burkholder, Brady Fehr, Lucas Gould, Stephanie Lund and Samuel Sweeney were all notified this fall they had scored a 35 on the Spring 2017 ACT examination. Grace Johanningsmeier later found out she also scored a 35 on the Fall 2017 ACT. Burkholder, Fehr, Gould, Johanningsmeier…

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Westside Teachers Awarded Innovation In Education Grants

Two Westside Community Schools educators have been awarded thousands of dollars in grants as part of the Cox Charities: Innovation in Education program. Cox Charities chose 5 metro area schools to receive funding for 2017. Two Westside teachers, Jenny Henningsen at Prairie Lane Elementary and Matt Bova at Westside Middle School, were selected. Henningsen, Excellence in Youth Coordinator for Prairie Lane, Paddock Road, Rockbrook and Swanson Elementary schools, will use the money to purchase Bitsbox…

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Hillside Educator named Teacher of the Month

Sarah Mosel, 3rd grade teacher at Hillside Elementary, has been named September’s Teacher of the Month for Westside Community Schools. Mosel, currently in her 6th year at Hillside, will be awarded $100 thanks to That Pottery Place, owner Nancy King, and manager Shelly Nauss. Click here to watch as Mrs. Mosel was surprised with the news by Westside administration and principal Cynthia Bailey! Mrs. Bailey shared the following about Mrs. Mosel in her nomination:  Sarah…

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Westside voters approve levy override

Westside voters have approved a measure allowing District 66 to raise its levy ceiling. This will create additional funding allowing Westside Community Schools to retain high-quality teachers through competitive compensation, and to continue maintaining and striving for personalized learning and excellent education in all classrooms. 51.3 percent of voters favored the levy override, while 48.6 percent voted it down. An estimated 7,500 ballots were mailed in. “We’re so grateful for our community that has listened…

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Westside German teacher wins national award

Westside teacher Dr. Ginger Starks Yoble has been named the 2017 K-8 Outstanding German Educator by the American Association of Teachers of German. This national award is given annually in recognition of innovative teaching, extraordinary talent and exceptional leadership in the German teaching profession. Dr. Starks Yoble, a teacher at Westside Middle School since 2007, lived abroad as a Fulbright Scholar, was a cooperating teacher on several occasions for pre-service teachers, and has hosted exchange…

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Westside’s Welch named Nebraska Paraeducator of the Year

Westside Middle School’s Tamara Welch has been named a Nebraska Paraeducator of the Year for 2017. Welch received notice of the honor earlier this week, along with an invitation to the 28th annual Nebraska Paraeducator Conference in Kearney where she will receive her award from Dr. Matt Blomstedt, Commissioner, Nebraska Department of Education. “I appreciate the acknowledgment for my work,” said Welch. “For me, the reward is in the connections I have with the students…

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Paddock Road leader named Teacher of the Month

Matt Kock, 6th grade teacher at Paddock Road Elementary, has been named Westside’s Teacher of the Month for August. Kock, who has been with Paddock Road for 19 years, was honored by the Board of Education and presented $100 thanks to Prime Choice Insurance and Courtney Callaway. Click here to watch as Mr. Kock learned he was Teacher of the Month! A co-worker shared the following about Mr. Kock in her nomination: Matt Kock deserves Teacher…

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Westside Experiences 2017 Solar Eclipse

Thousands of students and staff members across Westside Community Schools witnessed the 2017 Solar Eclipse thanks to a dedicated team of educators and the Westside Foundation. Westside High School teacher and PAEMST Award Winner Angela Bergman began work two years ago to secure NASA approved glasses for every single student and staff member within Westside Community Schools. Bergman also researched and collected materials spanning all curricular areas, including science, history, english and more. Thanks to…

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Westside Begins the 2017-2018 School Year!

Westside Community Schools kicked off the 2017-2018 school year Tuesday, August 15! To all of our students and staff, have a great year!

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Warrior Walkabout helps students transition to next level

Westside Middle School has successfully debuted a new program for the 2017-2018, Warrior Walkabout, helping 7th grade students best prepare for a new year at a new school. Organized by Dean of Students Quinn McGuire, Warrior Walkabout was funded through a grant from the Westside Foundation. This unique camp allowed Westside Middle School’s newest students to meet each other and make friends, bond through group activities and skits, and learn more about activities and coursework…

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Architects to share plans for Swanson Elementary

All are invited to attend the Swanson Elementary School Community Information Session on Thursday July 20 beginning at 6:00pm. Here you will learn the latest plans for the new Swanson, presented by Alley Poyner Macchietto Architects. The firm, along with Project Advocates, has worked closely for months with a Design Advisory Committee including Swanson families, teachers and community members to determine the best plan for our new school. We welcome you to attend and learn…

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State mourns legendary Westside, Nebraska coach

Legendary Westside coach and educator Cal Bentz died Tuesday after a hard fought battle with cancer. An inductee into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame, Bentz is widely regarded as one of the state’s greatest swimming and diving coaches of all time. Cal Bentz started at Westside High School in 1963 and was the Swim and Dive coach until 1977. In that time, he won 16 Boys and Girls championship titles and helped…

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Westside Educator Honored With Geographic Educators of Nebraska Award

Westside High School teacher Amy Studts was honored this week with the Gildersleeve-Stoddard-Stone Service to Geography Education Award. The honor is the highest the Geographic Educators of Nebraska (GEON) bestows. Studts received the honor during a special awards ceremony reception at the annual conference of the Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies in Kearney. “I was very honored to receive the GEON award,” said Studts. “There have been many awesome teachers who have won this award…

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Westside Educator Named 2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow

Westside Middle School teacher Angela Madsen has been selected by the NEA Foundation as one of 48 public school educators nationwide to become a member of this year’s class of Global Learning Fellows. Madsen, an English, Language Arts and Social Studies educator at Westside Middle School, was selected from more than 400 applicants from across the country. She will spend a year studying to understand and act on issues of global significance, while creating lessons…

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Ohm, Markley Honored with Schrager Distinguished Teaching Awards

The Phillip and Terri Schrager Foundation graciously presents the Schrager Distinguished Teaching Awards and $10,000 to two Westside Community Schools educators, Carla Ohm and Leah Markley. Congratulations to these incredible teachers who, through exemplary teaching and devoted service, have positively influenced the lives of countless young people. CARLA OHM, Paddock Road Elementary School For 37 years, Carla Ohm has made a powerful impact on countless Westside Community Schools students. A Special Education teacher for 24…

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Westside FBLA Students Qualify For Nationals

Westside FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) had a strong showing at the State Leadership Conference April 6-8th, including a first place title and several qualifications for national competition. Each Westside High School participant placed in the Top 8 and have an opportunity to compete at Nationals in Anaheim, California this summer. Over 2,000 students competed at SLC and some events had more than 300 students participating.  1st Place Organizational Leadership-Stephanie Lund 2nd Place Mobile Application Development-…

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22 Westside Employees Honored for Decades of Service

Westside Community Schools will honor 22 employees who have spent decades with District 66, including a beloved teacher who is marking her 30th year teaching preschool and elementary school students. Kimberly Schmidt is currently teaching at Sunset Hills Elementary, and she has also worked at Hillside Elementary. She is known by her coworkers and students as having a big heart, spending time every day after school talking to parents and families. This is Schmidt’s 30th…

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Westside’s Lance Named 4th In the Nation for ‘Best Newspaper’

Student journalists at Westside High School were recently named among the best in the country at multiple competitions, including at the national level and at the UNO Journalism conference. In Seattle, Washington last month, the WHS student publication The Lance was named 4th in the country for Best Newspaper. The following students were also recognized at the UNO Journalism conference: First Place – Best Long-Form Audio – Hannah Heim Second Place – Best Long-form Audio – Hannah…

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Alert for families: Is your child watching 13 Reasons Why?

Like many area school districts, our teachers and staff have recently noticed the new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why , trending among teens. The series, based on the popular book by Jay Asher, depicts a group of high school students trying to piece together a story left behind by their classmate, who died by suicide. In addition to suicide, the episodes expose viewers to numerous other social issues that could be difficult for young students…

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Westside Educator Named President of Nebraska Educational Technology Association

Dr. Matt Lee, Westside’s Coordinator of Technology Integration and Digital Content, has been elected President of the Nebraska Educational Technology Association. NETA is a grassroots organization open to everyone interested in sharing information about using technology in the educational process. NETA has more than 4,300 members from a four state region. Dr. Lee, an Apple Distinguished Educator, spent the last year as President-Elect, responsible for selecting, organizing and scheduling an estimated 190 breakout sessions at the 2017…

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Westside Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Westside High School proudly announces the six newest members of the Athletics Hall of Fame for 2017.  Three alumni, a coach, a community member and the 1976-1977 Westside Wrestling Teams will be honored at the Annual Westside High School Coaches Night of Distinction and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction on Friday May 5.   Dr. Jeff Seume, Class of 1972 Dr. Jeff Seume was a standout 2-sport athlete at Westside High School. He was a…

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Westside Towel Tradition Continues for Swim & Dive Program

For at least four decades, Westside’s swimmers and divers have wrapped themselves in tradition and school pride at every meet. Each student athlete who qualifies to compete at the state tournament owns a towel embroidered with the school crest, a display of the spirit each swimmer or diver proudly embraces at Westside. This year, the towels were once again displayed at the annual Swimming and Diving Banquet, a cherished tradition that many believe was created…

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Westside Educator Named Nebraska’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator

Allison Pontious, a 2nd grade teacher at Oakdale Elementary, has been named the 2017 PBS Digital Innovator of the Year for Nebraska. The program recognizes educators who skillfully approach teaching with a bold and fresh perspective, and who integrate digital media and resources into their classrooms in a way that sparks a love of learning for their students.  Pontious was noted for bringing technology into her classroom and working with colleagues through her District’s technology team, facilitating three…

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Simons Named Boys Varsity Basketball Coach

Westside High School is proud to announce Jim Simons as the next Head Coach of the WHS Boys Varsity Basketball program.  Simons will take over for Brian Nemecek, who announced he was stepping down as coach earlier this year. Simons is a longtime coach and educator with Westside Community Schools, working with Warrior Basketball and Baseball teams since 2000.    A graduate of Westside High School, UNO and Doane College, Simons teaches History and Civics/American Government…

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Westside Educator Named Executive Director of Nebraska Association for the Gifted

Kristen Job, Westside’s Secondary Excellence In Youth Coordinator, has been named Executive Director of the Nebraska Association for the Gifted. Job, who has been with Westside Community Schools for 14 years, has also served on the NAG Board for 6 years.  Her programs and students have won multiple awards and honors; most recently, her students at Westside Middle and High Schools finished among the top contenders at both State History Bee and State Geography Bee…

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Westside students win top honors in Architecture, Engineering

Westside Architecture and Engineering students recently won top honors including the Post President’s Award from the Society of American Military Engineers. Many of these students are members of the Student Mentoring Program (SMP), Westside’s Architecture and Engineering Club.  The Post President’s Award is the overall first place award and highest honor determined by the Society.  Contributing to that first place finish was recognition the students received in a variety of categories including Gold Level status…

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Westside student makes history with 3rd State Geography Bee Championship

Westside Middle School student Brendan Pennington made history Friday, winning the Nebraska Geography Bee for a third time. Brendan was one of five Westside students among the field of 100 from across the state competing for the championship and the opportunity to represent Nebraska at the National Geography Bee. (Click here to learn more!)  Brendan, who also attended Prairie Lane Elementary, receives $100, an atlas, and his expenses to the national competition in Washington DC…

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Westside DECA wins big at State Championships

The Westside High School DECA team excelled at the Nebraska state championships earlier this month, including seven 1st place honors. DECA is a nationwide high school program educating and encouraging emerging leaders and entrepreneurs on best business practices.  Westside’s program has been recognized several times this school year through awards and features across local news media. There are over 200 active members in Westside’s DECA chapter;  51 students qualified to attend the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, CA.…

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WCS moving to electronic flyer distribution

Westside Community Schools will transition to an all-digital distribution system for information regarding external organizations and activities effective July 1, 2017. Approved by the Board of Education March 20, this move will allow District staff to be more efficient with both time and resources.  Currently, the Communications department and our school staff members organize and distribute thousands of flyers throughout our schools every week.  This information will continue to be available on our website, www.westside66.org,…

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Westside’s ATSC Named National 1st Runner Up Show Choir

Westside’s ATSC Show Choir finished as First Runner Up at Nationals over the weekend, completing a record breaking season which included 5 Grand Champion titles. The Amazing Technicolor Show Choir, under the direction of Westside Vocal Music Director Doran Johnson, competed at Heart of America 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia among the best show choirs in the country.  ATSC was also awarded Best Costumes in the country. “You danced and sang like champions tonight,” said Westside Superintendent…

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Westside students qualify for History Bee Nationals

Nine Westside students have qualified for national competition after ranking at the top of the field in the regional history bee. Seven WMS students competed in this year’s event.  Paul Suder, Virginia Jansen, Brendan Pennington, Peter Voller and Milena Morris will travel to Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia this June.  Eddie Morrissette and Erin Mosier also competed for Westside. This is the 5th year in a row Westside Middle School students, coached by Westside SEcondary EY Coordinator…

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Hottovy Named Westbrook Elementary Principal

Westside Community Schools proudly announces Tyler Hottovy has verbally accepted our offer to join the WCS team as the new principal of Westbrook Elementary School. Mr. Hottovy has an extensive background in education, most recently serving as assistant principal for the last five years at Sandoz Elementary in Millard Public Schools. He has proven leadership talent and experience working in Title I schools. Mr. Hottovy will begin July 1st at Westbrook to kick off the…

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Westside Releases 2017-2018 Budget Report

Monday night, Westside Superintendent Dr. Blane McCann presented a 2017-2018 Budget Report to the Board of Education.  Westside Community Schools faces an anticipated budget gap of approximately $3.2 million dollars, a number higher than originally projected due to anticipated revenue shortfalls at the state level and current discussions in the Unicameral reducing funding for public schools.   The District has approached this challenge from every angle to balance the budget while protecting classrooms and learners.  District leaders have solicited feedback…

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Five Westside students to compete in Nebraska Geography Bee

Five Westside students are among the top 100 students in Nebraska who qualified to compete at the state level in the National Geographic Nebraska Bee.  The Bee will be held on Friday, March 31 at UNO’s Milo Bail Student Center.  The champion from the Nebraska Bee will qualify to compete in the National Geographic Bee Championship in Washington, D.C., May 14-17. Congratulations to Cass Fries (Westgate), Jasmine Palikhya (Loveland), Owen Schafer (Sunset Hills), Leo Konigsberg (Swanson) and Brendan Pennington (Westside…

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Westside students honored for public tributes

The Kiwanis Elementary Speech Contest was held Friday, March 10 at the Westside Middle School Performing Arts Center.  Sixth graders from across the district prepared speeches on the topic, “Heroes and Heroines in Our Lives” and each school selected one student to attend the district contest.  The first, second, and third place winners will attend a luncheon hosted by the Kiwanis on March 30 along with their classroom teacher and families.  1st Place:  Izzy Dodge, Loveland  2nd…

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Westside Superintendent named Outstanding Educational Leader of 2017

Westside Superintendent Dr. Blane McCann has been named the Outstanding Educational Leader of 2017, recognized at the PDK World Cafe and Awards this month. “Each year, PDK chapter #0116 nominates and selects three annual awards,” said Dr. Tami Williams, Assistant Professor with the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  “The Outstanding Educational Leader award is given to an area educational leader who has made a significant impact in education, is seen as a…

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Westside students ‘crushing’ STEM studies

Students from both Westside Middle School and Westside High School are earning top awards and honors this month in STEM related fields. WMS students Victoria Chin, Ariana Dykhouse and Ramya Iyer were selected by the University of Nebraska Omaha to attend UNO CodeCrush, an exclusive IT immersion experience for female students.  For four days later this month, these students will learn about the IT departments of global corporations, meet women professionals who are engaged in…

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Coach Nemecek announces he will step down from Westside Basketball

After 21 years guiding thousands of Westside student athletes, Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Brian Nemecek is stepping down from his coaching duties. Nemecek has been Westside’s Head Coach for the last 11 years, winning 130 games, 2 district titles and 4 district runner-up honors.  Prior to that, he served for 10 years as an Assistant Basketball Coach.  He also coached baseball for 10 years leading Westside’s Reserve and JV teams. “It’s time to set some…

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Westside students score top honors in Drake Physics Prize competition

Three Westside High School students, David Atri-Schuller, Daniel Guo and Danny Berentson, have earned some of the highest placements in the country in the Drake Physics Prize competition.  Atri-Schuller finished 2nd overall, the highest any Westside High School student has ever placed. Eight Westside students took the annual test, administered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Drake University.  Hundreds of students take the test each year.  In addition to Atri-Schuller’s 2nd place finish,…

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Westside High named 2017 Nebraska ACT Exemplary High School

Westside High School has been honored with the Nebraska College and Career Transition Award, named a 2017 Nebraska ACT Exemplary High School by ACT State Organizations. WHS staff were notified of the honor last week, chosen among all applicants in the 2016-2017 ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign.  In 2016, Westside ACT scores rose .5 points.  Westside students cumulatively scored 2.3 points higher than the state average. “Our Vision Statement indicates that we look at…

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Westside’s Dircks honored with Kiwanis Leadership Award

Omaha Westside Basketball’s Danielle Dircks is a 2017 recipient of the Kiwanis Leadership Award for girls basketball. Kiwanis award winner Danielle Dircks with Coach Jamie Davis, Danielle Dircks Coach Steve Clark.                         The Westside chapter of Kiwanis honored Dircks and three other student athletes March 1 at a special luncheon.  These young women were recognized for showing excellence in leadership, academics,…

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Hill, Jansa win state championships for Westside

Westside wrestlers Darlondo Hill and Josh Jansa are now state champions, each winning their weight classes in the 2017 NCAA wrestling tournament for Class A.  Their victories mark the first time in 16 years a Westside Warrior took a state title. Courtesy Josh Planos, KETV Going for his third state medal and hopefully a seat at the family table, Darlondo Hill’s mindset was to end his career with gold.  Pinning his…

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Senators offer legislative advice for Westside community

A panel of legislative experts provided their advice Monday night to Westside stakeholders. “This meeting stemmed from a conversation last year about how is school funded” noted Board of Education member and meeting moderator Beth Morrissette.  “How do we get our dollars?  People said, we want to learn more about the process and how our partnership with the Unicameral works.  This is a starting point.” The bipartisan panel included State Senators Joni Craighead, John McCollister…

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Westside Student named one of Nebraska’s Top Youth Volunteers

Westside Middle School student Ella Alberts has been named one of Nebraska’s two Top Youth Volunteers for 2017 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.  Ella, 12, will be formally recognized with 100 other students this May in Washington DC, and is now eligible to become America’s Top Youth Volunteer. Ella has collected more than $1300 along with hundreds of supplies for animal shelters by operating an annual one day lemonade stand.  Ella seeks out…

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Westside Wrestling strong at Districts, sends 7 to state

With a team at full strength for the first time this season, the Westside Varsity Wrestling Team earned a 1st Runner-Up plaque at Districts, and will send 7 athletes to NSAA State Finals. The Warriors competed in Kearney over the weekend, with 11 wrestlers taking part. “No one was sick, no one was injured, and the guys that deserved it, got the call,” said Head Coach Michael Jernigan.  “Every wrestler contributed to the earning of…

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World Series Trophy Coming To Westside

The Cubs Trophy Tour, presented by State Farm, will be making a stop at Westside High School Friday, February 10, from 3:30-5 p.m. The event is open to the public. The first 500 fans will receive a wristband to ensure their ability to see the trophy. Additional fans will be accommodated if time permits. On Friday, gates to the Westside Football Stadium will open at 1:30 p.m. for fans who wish to arrive before the…

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7 Westside Seniors Honored On Signing Day

7 Westside High School Seniors were honored Wednesday as part of National Signing Day, when student athletes across the country indicate the colleges they intend to attend and compete for. Photo courtesy Tom Kerkman Emily Torres will attend Army to play soccer. Carlee Guyett will attend Buena Vista to play softball. Nick Henrichs will attend Buena Vista to play baseball. Josh Wonder, Michael Love and Christian Kasel will all attend Northwestern…

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Have an incoming WHS Freshman? We can help!

Welcome to Westside High School Class of 2021! Here is a guide for incoming freshmen and their families about Modular Scheduling, Graduation Requirements, Course Selections and more! Modular Scheduing WHS LINGO MOD: a 40-minute period of time GROUP: Intensity level or time needed outside of class, ranging from 1-5 IMC: Instructional Materials Center, where teachers are located when not in class, and a place for students to study when not in class COMPONENTS Large Group: 30-300…

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CWS, Inc donates $5,000 to Westside

College World Series of Omaha, Inc has donated $5,000 to Westside High School for improvements and repairs at the District baseball field. WHS Athletic Director Tom Kerkman filed a donation request with CWS of Omaha, Inc to replace netting and screens at Warrior facilities.  Omaha Westside’s Varsity Baseball Team is an 8-time NSAA State Champion, 6-Time Legion State Champion, and 2-Time ALWS qualifier. CWS, Inc, the local non-profit organizing committee that hosts the NCAA Men’s…

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Three Westside Students Nominated for Presidential Scholars Program

Three Westside Students have been named as candidates in the prestigious United States Presidential Scholars Program. WHS Seniors Daniel Guo, Josh Militti and Preston Noll were all notified of their achievements Friday afternoon.  Candidacy for the elite program is based on outstanding ACT performance, SAT scores, or personal nomination.  Both Militti and Noll achieved perfect ACT scores and have been named 2017 National Merit Semi-Finalists; Guo was named a 2017 National Merit Commended Student.  Of…

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Westside CAPS partners with ACE Mentor Program

Westside students will work to design part of an Omaha area middle school, thanks to a new partnership with ACE Mentor Omaha. ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) selected 77 students from Westside Community Schools and Omaha Public Schools to participate in the 12-week inaugural program.  Together, these students will develop the design for an addition at OPS’s Norris Middle School, currently being renovated, as well as parking changes, administrative offices and a new entry for the…

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Westside students promote kindness

Students at Prairie Lane, Loveland and Rockbrook Elementary Schools have a big assignment this week: they will participate in the Great Kindness Challenge. The event is a nationwide movement to create a culture of kindness at schools. Last year over 5 million students across the country completed over 200 million acts of kindness in connection with the “Great Kindness Challenge” during the last week of January. Westside Community Schools has taken several proactive measures to promote respect…

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Westside TeamMates Hopes To Impact More Students

Several Westside students are ringing in the new year with a special resolution: to gain more confidence and impact the world.  Mentors with the TeamMates Mentoring Program are helping them achieve that goal. Franky, a middle school student at Westside, was matched with her mentor, Patty Landen, two years ago. Franky said they shared an immediate connection. “I don’t really talk about my problems or open up to people, but when I met Patty, I…

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Westside Middle School students win $5000 in Verizon App contest

The club, sponsored by WMS Teacher and 2016 AIM Tech Educator of the Year Kristeen Shabram, includes five Westside Middle School students who meet weekly after school.  Victoria Chin, Raeanne Sando, Alex Carson, Caleb Dykhouse and Allison Bash created a pitch for an app, which was entered in the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge.  Nationally, Verizon received more than 1,800 concepts; Westside Middle School’s entry, Smile Time, was named Best in State for Nebraska on Monday.…

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Westside Students Named High School Heisman Winners

Two Westside High School students, Zach McCarty and Reagan Jones, have been named Wendy’s High School Heisman School Winners. Awarded since 1994, these honors highlight the country’s most esteemed students who give back to their communities, treat people with respect, and are continuing their education while excelling on the athletic field. “These students are known by their teachers and friends for their commitment to excellence,” said Westside High Principal Jay Opperman. We are excited and…

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Westside Student Earns Perfect ACT Score

Preston Noll, a senior at Westside High School, achieved a perfect ACT score on the Fall 2016 round of examinations. Noll scored 35 in a previous try at the ACT and took it again in an attempt to reach the perfect score, a feat accomplished by less than 1-percent of all students who take the national test.  The Westside Board of Education invited Noll to a meeting last month to recognize him for this exceptional…

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Westside grad nominated US Deputy Commerce Secretary

President Elect Donald Trump has nominated Westside High graduate Todd Ricketts to be America’s next Deputy Commerce Secretary. Photo courtesy the Associated Press The President Elect’s team made the announcement Wednesday morning, naming Ricketts, a 1987 graduate of Westside High School.  Ricketts is a successful businesman and part-owner of the Chicago Cubs, along with brother, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, inducted into the Westside Hall of Fame earlier this month. The Chicago…

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Westside students to perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Three Westside students are ready to leave for New York to perform on national TV in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Freshmen Virginia Allen and Bethany Krenzer, and senior Danielle Lemke all dance for On Pointe Dance Centre in Omaha.  24 dancers from the studio representing schools across the metro area will fly to New York on November 19th; they were selected in the first round of invitations after their performances for the Macy’s and Capital…

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Westside Wins Third Straight Cycling Championship

A few years ago, teachers Nick Joslin and Nathan Moseley had an idea: a cycling club. “To grow interest in the sport and provide an opportunity for kids to stay active and healthy,” said Moseley.  Four years later, that idea has grown to include eight schools, more than 60 student racers and three state championships for Westside High School. Joslin and Moseley, along with representatives from Millard West, Ralston and Seward, created the Nebraska Interscholastic…

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WHS Student Athlete Qualifies for Nationals

Milo Greder, a Westside High School student athlete and Iowa State University commit, has qualified for the Nike Cross Country National Competition. Greder placed third overall in the Heartland Regional November 13th in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, completing the 5K course with a time of 14:51, a personal record.  This event draws the best teams and runners from seven states: Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  More info on the Heartland…

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ELEMENTARY | Start 8:40 - Dismiss 3:30 ( Wednesdays | Dismiss 3:00 )
MIDDLE SCHOOL | Start 8:00 - Dismiss 3:15 ( Wednesdays | Dismiss 2:44 )
HIGHSCHOOL | Start 8:00 - Dismiss 3:10 ( Wednesdays | Dismiss 2:50 )