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The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

Do teachers trust their colleagues?

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Cris Bataillon

As a kid who has grown up going to different Omaha Public Schools, I would hope my teachers would be confident enough in their profession to send their kids to a public school.  

“I think public education is critical. I am a firm believer in the value of public education, or I wouldn’t be working in it,” said sociology teacher and Central alumnus Casey Denton. “And I think the health of a public education system is a great indicator of the health of the public. And I think the health of a public education system is a great indicator of the health of a society. The more the investment in education, the more the investment in the youth and the future of that society.” 

Denton is part of the 77% of Central teachers, according to a survey I conducted of more than 50 teachers, with children old enough to be in school and is also part of the 4% who send their kids to a private school.  

Along with her husband, Denton went to Saint Cecilia for grade school and Central for high school, which is the path they decided to send their son on as well.  

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They chose to send their son to Saint Cecilia because he would be getting more personal attention in small class sizes, knowledge about Christian principles and the diversity and inclusion this seemly small school prioritizes. 

“We felt like we were getting the best of both worlds there where he gets some elements of the real-world microcosm diversity,” Denton said. “But he also has a smaller, more controlled sheltered setting, which we thought was both really important for us growing up.”  

Her ultimate goal is for her son to then have the “social maturation and awakening by coming to Central [for high school].” 

Denton was the only teacher to give her name and talk about why she chooses to send her child to a Catholic school. To me, this hesitancy to discuss why they send their kids to private schools communicates a lack of faith in the public school system.  

Many students realize there are teachers who put their children in private schools, but never draw a conclusion that they may send their kids to public schools outside of OPS.  

Jordan Boyer is in his 15th year as a teacher at Central and has two children who go to Papillion-LaVista South.  

He went to public school his whole life and gives credit to his social studies teacher for being the reason he got into teaching.  

Boyer said his children had every opportunity to come to Central but their overall pull to stay in Papillion La Vista Community Schools was staying with the friend groups they grew up with.  

“And so that friend group, just the comfort level and everything, I just don’t know that they could see themselves outside of it,” Boyer said.  

There is overall a difference between suburban and urban public schools.  

“I’ve been happy with my kids’ education at Papillion, but there is a part of me that feels like if they were to come to an OPS school, I think it would be pretty difficult for them to do the same type of teaching that they do in Papillion as they do in OPS,” Boyer said. “I mean, there’s all sorts of other challenges there that you don’t have in the suburbs. And it’s just a natural thing.”  

Although it does not seem like it, there are teachers who send their children to not just Omaha Public Schools, but to Central High School.  

Brent Larson has been teaching math at Central for 25 years and has two children: one who graduated from Central in 2023, and one who is a sophomore at Central.  

“When people ask me about Central… I can’t give it any higher praise than I would send my kids here, and I know that when they leave Central, they are prepared for what is out there.” Larson said. “And I don’t think enough people take advantage of that.” 

There has been a website that has come out called greatschools.org, which ranks schools based on college readiness, equity, graduation rate, ACT scores and Advanced Placement course participation. When you are on Zillow, the local schools and their rankings are included. Central and all of the OPS high schools are ranked at one out of 10.  

I hate that people use test scores as a factor for where they choose to send their kids to school.  Going to Central has been one of the best things that has happened to me. There are so many students that kids are bound to have friends with the same interests. This school gives us so many opportunities to do amazing things, like school trips. I went to Belize last year. You can start a group based on any interest. For students who are very academically inclined, not only do we have one of three International Baccalaureate programs in the state, but we also have an amazing AP program. I love Central, and I will continue to praise it for the rest of my life.  

No matter where they send their kids, the teachers at Central love it in a distinct way and agree it is the best high school anyone could go to.  

“I think Central is the best high school in the state. I think that the kids who come to Central not only get an amazing traditional education but again it’s a microcosm of the real world. Our kids are being exposed to ideas and people.” Denton said. “And when someone asks me where I graduated from, I don’t say UNO. I say Central. I take great pride in this building. And the impact it’s had on me.” 

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About the Contributors
Isabel Hoiberg, Digital Editor
Hiiiiii! My name is Isabel Hoiberg (she/her), I am a senior, this is my second year on staff and I am a Digital Editor. My fellow staff members voted me most likely to still believe in Santa Claus, who else leaves presents under the tree? My parents? Funny. If I am not in 029, you can catch me watching South Park or doing the daily games from the New York Times.
Cris Bataillon, Staff Photographer
Hi, my name is Cris Bataillon (he/him). I'm a senior, and this is my first year on The Register. I was selected for most likely to spontaneously buy a pet fish. My favorite restaurant is the Taste of India on Leavenworth.
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