Success Stories

The Omaha North High School Foundation Salutes the Vikings of Distinction

Celebrating excellence extends beyond North High. For over 30 years, outstanding graduates, former faculty members and devoted friends of North High have been honored as Vikings of Distinction. Their return to North High inspires students to excel in the classroom and beyond, and their many accomplishments bring honor to their alma mater.

Featured Vikings of Distinction Honorees:

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Penny Sackett, Class of 1974

Chief Scientist of Australia, Researcher, Educator & Astronomer. (Inducted in 2016) 

Penny D. Sackett (Canberra, NSW, Australia) - Internationally acclaimed as a physicist, astronomer, and former chief scientist for Australia, Penny was part of a global network that discovered the first Earth-sized planet orbiting a star other than Earth’s sun. She was named Australia’s Chief Scientist, has worked in the Netherlands, and is on the Nobel Laureate Symposium. Possessing a worldwide reputation, she is a consultant and was honored recently as an outstanding alumna by UNO.

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Brenda J. Smith, Class of 1974

Deputy Chief of the Omaha Police Department, law enforcement educator & consultant. (Inducted in 2011)

Brenda J. Smith was the first woman Deputy Chief of Police of the Omaha Police Department after rising through the ranks from 1980-1993. She is a community college instructor and member of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board as well as many community and philanthropic endeavors. She has conducted training for federal agencies and other Police Departments and businesses across the country.

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George F. Haddix Ph. D., Class of 1957

President C.S.G. Holdings and Systems, Inc. and Philanthropist. (Inducted in 2000)

Dr. George Haddix has spent his career at the center of the information technology revolution. He is a computer scientist and mathematician who has served on the faculties of three universities, a respected businessman who has been at the helm of numerous technology companies, including HDR, ACI and US West Network Systems, and a public spirited citizen who gives freely of his time and talent to professional and service organizations. He was inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame in 2011. Dr. Haddix is also a philanthropist who is proud to support STEM programs for students.

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Mike McGee, Class of 1977

A former NBA player who is currently coaching pro basketball in China. (Inducted in 2015)

Mike McGee, Class of 1977, Omaha, NE- As the World-Herald Athlete of the Year in 1977, Mike’s basketball talents took him from North High to the University of Michigan as a four-year starter to then play nine seasons in the NBA. He helped the LA Lakers win two NBA championships and then went on to play for the Hawks, Kings, Nets and Suns and also on to France and Italy to play more ball. Following his illustrious professional career, he went on to coach in China.


Lance G. Morgan, Class of 1986

Founder of Ho-Chunk, Inc. to benefit the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. (Inducted in 2015)

Lance G. Morgan, Class of 1986, Winnebago, NE - After receiving his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1993, Lance launched Ho-Chunk, Inc., an economic development corporation for the Winnebago Tribe. With his leadership, Ho-Chunk now has over 30 subsidiaries and operations throughout the United States and in five foreign countries, and provides Edu-Care child care, banking and housing opportunities for their new community, the Ho-Chunk Village. In July, 2014 he was honored with the Advocate of the Year Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency.


Testimonials from Featured Foundation Scholarship Recipients:

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Thank you so much for selecting me as the recipient of a Foundation scholarship! I am extremely grateful to have been awarded this and I plan on using the scholarship to assist in paying for UNL. I am ecstatic to begin the next chapter of my life! Again, thank you.
~ R. Gilmore
Class of 2014
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Thank you for the scholarship awarded to me from the Omaha North High School Foundation. Your generosity will allow me to pursue my educational aspirations to study civil engineering at UNL. I was able to explore the world of engineering through my high school classes at Omaha North and participate in many activities inside and outside the classroom related to the field of engineering. I look forward to the next four years of educational growth and opportunity.
~ A. Casebeer
Class of 2014
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I am very grateful for having received a Foundation scholarship. It is a reminder not only of past achievements, but of future responsibility. My dedication to learning and making the world a better place will continue into college.
~ M. Romer
Class of 2015
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Thank you for your generosity, support and investment in my future. Thank you for selecting me as a recipient of a Foundation scholarship.
~ C. Gaines Liwaru
Class of 2015


Read About the Vikings of Distinction Event 

View All Honorees View Past Scholarship Recipients

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Today, North High is a Magnet School with a special curriculum and expanded resources for students choosing to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. For the past two decades, the Foundation has contributed funds and resources to support students who have chosen these pathways of learning, and the teachers who light their way. In total, the Foundation has contributed over $500,000 to these efforts.

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