Curtis Case has established a reputation as a compassionate and high-energy administrator in his 10 years in the Millard schools.
Case, principal of Millard South High School since 2006, was shot Wednesday at his school. He was in serious condition Wednesday evening at Creighton University Medical Center, a spokeswoman there said.
“He's a wonderful, caring, energetic principal — very well respected,” said Amy Friedman, Millard Public Schools spokeswoman. “You couldn't ask for a better principal.”
Case is 44, married and has three children. The Cases are active members of Christ Community Church.
Sierra Scott, a Millard South senior, said she became acquainted with Case while serving on the principal's student advisory board.
She said he is “very concerned about the well-being of our student body.”
Scott said Case created the student advisory board to try to make students' school experience more pleasant.
Case asked Scott to find students who could be eligible for a college scholarship program for underprivileged kids.
“He always made me feel welcome, and I know he did that for other students,” Scott said. “Few seniors can say they really, really liked their school principal, but I can definitely say that.”
Taylor Kopcho, a junior, said she talked with Case about a bullying problem her freshman year. “You knew he cared about the school and the students,” Kopcho said. “He treated me very nice.”
Further, she said, the bullying stopped.
Case was hired by the Millard Public Schools in 2001 as assistant principal at Millard North.
Before that he had stints as an assistant principal/activities director at Holdrege High School from 1999 to 2001 and as a math teacher at Conestoga Junior-Senior High School in Murray, Neb., before that.
Dick Meyer was principal at Holdrege High School and hired Case for his first administrative role 12 years ago. Meyer, now a Kearney Public Schools administrator, described Case as thoughtful, not loud.
“He's not the life of the party,” he said. “He's more quiet and reserved.”
Meyer said Case tutored University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletes in math at some point in his education and enjoyed it. Case didn't shy away from disciplining kids at Holdrege High because he believed they would benefit from working through their problems, Meyer said.
Case, who has a master's degree and doctorate, was eager to learn all aspects of an administrator's job, Meyer said.
Omaha City Councilwoman Jean Stothert, who served on the Millard school board when Case was named principal at Millard South, called him a dynamic leader with a reserved style who leads by example.
“And he's an extremely good fit for a high school principal,” Stothert said. He's sensitive to students and communicates well with them, she said.
Meyer said it was a shame that his friend had to endure this.
“I have such high regard for Curtis as a friend and as a colleague,” Meyer said. “He's got so much potential. ... And I have the utmost respect for him.”
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