Chalkboard: Summer students see alligator at Gateway Elementary

Summer students at Gateway Elementary received a visit from Kip Smith of Wildlife Encounters and a few animal ambassadors, including an African serval, a legless lizard, a kinkajou, an alligator, a hedgehog and Madagascar cockroaches.

Each Saturday, The World-Herald brings you up to speed on all the latest school news in the Omaha metro area.

High schools

Hall of fame: Omaha Marian will honor members of its school community who have excelled as athletes, teammates, coaches and supporters at the Aug. 24 Marian Athletic Hall of Fame Induction in the Marian Quad.

The event will feature gold medalist and soccer star Michelle Akers as special guest speaker. Cocktails and autograph-signing will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony. The cost is $50 per person.

The awards ceremony will honor softball player Sara Loeffelholz, Class of 2006; volleyball and track star Colette Shelton Pawol, Class of 1977; coach Connie Cavel, Class of 1968, who coached the Marian golf team for nine years beginning in the fall of 1974, when her golfers won the first girls state golf tournament; patrons Dick and Mary Spanheimer, who have supported Marian athletics throughout all seasons; the 2004-05 swim team coached by Pat DiBiase with assistant coaches Peter Charles, Steph Pantano and Amy Moylan Sauser and team manager Caroline Maher, Class of 2006.

The swim team was named State Girls Team Champions after winning nine out of a possible 12 individual events at the state tournament in 2005, set the unbroken team scoring record and had seven athletes named high school All-Americans. Members were Amanda Benak, '06; Michelle Bene, '08; Colleen Criss, '06; Karen Criss, '06; Emily Franks, '08; Rachel Gehringer, '08; Deanna Koch Goff, '07; Laura Golwitzer-Woita, '05; Jordan Hagar, '07; Elizabeth Healy, '06; Ashley Hoesing, '06; Erin Holtmeyer Engel, '05; Caitlin Hopkins, '07; Jenn Kocsis, '06; Kelly Kunkel, '08; Sam Lewis, '05; Grace Mariucci, '08; Caroline Wells McLellan, '05; Maureen Mulligan, '07; Carrie Murphy, '05; Sara Prince, '05; Martha Reilly, '08; Maggie Rudersdorf, '07; and Jackie Smolinski, '07.

Fore! Golf with the Omaha Gross Cougars on Sept. 23 at Tregaron Golf Course in Bellevue. A lunch at 11 a.m. precedes the noon shotgun start with a dinner and awards ceremony afterward at the school. Register online at For more information, call 402-734-2000, ext. 124. Proceeds will go to the school.

Learning to judge: Livestock judging students studying at the University of Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture will host the third annual “Aggie Fest” Livestock Judging Clinic and Contest on the Curtis campus Sept. 14.

The morning clinic is open to all 4-H and FFA members, and those interested in joining these youth organizations. NCTA Aggie students enrolled in animal science and livestock evaluation classes will assist youths in evaluating beef cattle, sheep and swine. Participants can compete in an afternoon evaluation contest for scoring and awards.

A $15-per-person registration fee includes lunch. Individuals or teams should register by Sept. 6 at 308-367-5293 or contact Dr. Douglas Smith, livestock judging coach and chairman of NCTA's Agricultural Production Systems division at

Judging activities will be conducted in the Livestock Teaching Center on the east side of campus.

Youthful TED talks: TEDxYouth@Lincoln aims to provide a platform at which youths who are thinkers, visionaries and learners will be inspired and have the opportunity to inspire others.

The lineup of speakers showcases several Lincoln Public Schools students and LPS graduates for the Aug. 17 event at Lincoln High. Tickets are on sale at

Among the speakers will be:

• Landon Beard, a 16-year-old junior at Lincoln High, who will speak about unleashing brilliance through unseen potential, specifically talking about the special education system in public schools;

• Tianye Chen, a 16-year-old junior at Lincoln East, who will talk about the future of metal organic frameworks, a promising type of nano material in the field of environmental technology;

• Diane Choi, a 12-year-old who attends Scott Middle School in Lincoln, who will talk about how her life events helped her to realize her true talent and how she uses that to share with others and help people smile who face difficult times;

• Sarah DiMagno, a 16-year-old junior at Lincoln High, who will speak about the effect of tragic events on children, why they can be harmful, and how those effects can be lessened, drawing from her personal experience as a 5-year-old on Sept. 11, 2001;

• Hunter Guru, 12 and a seventh-grader at Pound Middle School in Lincoln, who will talk about computer science and nanotechnology becoming a key part of many fields, especially medicine;

• Sarah Hove, 18 and a senior at Lincoln Southwest, who will talk about bullying and the idea of what being beautiful really means, finishing with her slam poem, “Something Beautiful”;

• Claire Wilkinson, a 16-year-old junior at Lincoln Southwest, who will talk about her journey of overcoming intense fear to perform on a stage and pursue her passion for music;

• Wyn Wiley, 20 and a graduate of Lincoln Southwest who attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has his own photography studio, who will discuss how to embrace the thing that makes you different.

Ribbon-cutting: What was once a sketch on a piece of paper is now home to the performing arts on Marian's campus.

As the Spotlight on Our Future capital campaign comes to a close, Marian has made plans to celebrate the grand opening of its new Mary Joy and Tal Anderson Performing Arts Center with a private ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

After the ribbon-cutting, Marian students, faculty and staff will gather Friday for a cornerstone dedication.

Tours of the new Performing Arts Center will be offered to the public during a “Behind-the-Scenes” event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 18. The inaugural musical performances, featuring Rodgers & Hammerstein's “The King and I,” will run Nov. 8-17.

Elementary schools


No tears: The PTO at Whitetail Creek Elementary will host a Parent BooHoo Breakfast at 8 a.m. Thursday in the lounge.

The World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.

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