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OPS names principals for two new elementary schools opening in 2022

OPS names principals for two new elementary schools opening in 2022


Construction of Forest Station Elementary in Bellevue is tentatively set to be completed in December 2021/January 2022, and the school is scheduled to open for students next fall for the 2022–2023 school year.

Omaha Public Schools has announced the proposed names for the district's two new high schools (Westview, Buena Vista) and two new elementaries (Pine, Forest Station).

Omaha Public Schools has selected principals to lead two new elementary schools opening in August 2022.

Shelly Burghardt, current principal at Hartman Elementary School, will be the principal of Forest Station Elementary School, located at Fort Crook and Childs Roads in Bellevue.

Shelly Burghardt

Shelly Burghardt will be the principal of Forest Station Elementary School.

Adriana Vargas, current principal at Castelar Elementary, will be the principal of Pine Elementary School, located at 10th and Pine Streets.

Adriana Vargas

Adriana Vargas will be the principal of Pine Elementary School.

Both appointments are pending approval from the OPS school board. If approved, both principals would start their new roles in January.

OPS said in a press release it has already begun the process of finding replacements for Vargas and Burghardt at their current schools. Burghardt had been principal of Hartman for 14 years, and Vargas has been at Castelar for more than 10 years.

The two new elementary schools are being built thanks to the 2018 bond issue. In total, OPS is building five new schools with the $409.9 million bond issue.

Earlier this year, OPS unveiled names, mascots and colors for the two new elementary schools.

The name of Pine Elementary comes from its location on Pine Street, the district said, and the large evergreen trees being preserved in the building process.

The school colors will be green, white and gray, and the school mascot will be a porcupine. While they might look fierce, district officials said, porcupines are curious and gentle-natured.

Forest Station gets its name because of its close proximity to Fontenelle Forest and nearby trains.

School colors will be dark green, white and tan. The school’s mascot is an owl, a bird that represents wisdom and knowledge.

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Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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