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OPS taps assistant principal to be next leader of Central High School
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OPS taps assistant principal to be next leader of Central High School

The Omaha Public Schools have announced the next principal of Central High School.

OPS announced in a letter to parents that Ellisa Kirksey, who is currently an assistant principal and the activities director at Central, will become principal pending school board approval. She is known as Dionne to friends and colleagues.

Kirksey would replace Principal Ed Bennett, who announced his departure from the school district earlier this year. Bennett said he will be moving to the Minneapolis area for family opportunities.

Bennett has been the principal of Central since 2013, and previously served as an assistant principal of the school.

Kirksey has more than 30 years of experience with OPS. In 1990, she started as a social studies teacher at King Science and Technology Magnet Center.

In 1998, she moved to the OPS student and community services department. She began her current job at Central in 2000.

According to the district, Kirksey holds an associate of arts degree in social studies from Coffeyville Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University, a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a master’s degree in secondary counseling from Creighton University.

Kirksey was selected after a review of her qualifications and a panel-style interview, which included central office administrators, a school board member, a staff member and a parent.

If she is approved by the school board, Kirksey will begin her new position on Aug. 1.

“Ms. Kirksey is very excited about becoming the next principal at Central High School and looks forward to working together to help our students reach their full potential as they prepare for college, career and life,” the letter to parents said.


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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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Central High School from 20th and Dodge Streets in downtown Omaha.

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