New OPS middle school to be named after Tuskegee Airman -
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 1:00 am / Updated at 7:21 pm
New OPS middle school to be named after Tuskegee Airman
Capt. Alfonza W. Davis
Born in Omaha in 1919
Graduated from Omaha Tech in 1937 as valedictorian
Joined the Army Air Corps in 1942
Received his wings at Tuskegee Army Air Field in 1943
Flew P-51 Mustang in World War II
Lost in action over Italy on Oct. 29, 1944
Awarded Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Unit Citation

Alfonza W. Davis was a scholar, a leader and a patriot.

He graduated valedictorian of the class of March 1937 at Technical High School. He was the first black Omahan to earn fighter pilot wings at Tuskegee Army Air Field. And as an airman, Davis rose to captain with the Tuskegee Airmen before his plane disappeared in Italy on Oct. 29, 1944.

Starting next fall, hundreds of Omaha children will learn more about what he did, who he was and the legacy he left.

The Omaha school board voted 10-0 Monday night to name the district's newest middle school after Davis. A board committee approved the name earlier Monday.

The school, at 132nd and State Streets, is scheduled to open in August 2013.

“I can't tell you how pleased I am that you've chosen this,” said a teary-eyed Nancy Huston, board member and former reading teacher at Tech High from 1977 to 1984, when the school closed.

A committee made up of four parents and five Omaha Public Schools officials picked three names and mascot combinations. A group of 10 students from Prairie Wind and Saddlebrook Elementary Schools selected two, said Dan Bartels, the new middle school's principal.

Some students in the attendance areas of the Buffett and Morton Middle Schools and Boyd, Prairie Wind and Saddlebrook Elementary Schools will go to the new middle school.

Of the committee's nine members, seven voted for the name Davis Middle School, and “Aviators” as mascot.

The committee's vote was weighted as 40 percent of the decision. A vote of about 270 fifth- and sixth-graders at Prairie Wind and Saddlebrook was considered as 60 percent of the recommendation.

In total, the Davis-Aviators combination won out over the Alfonza W. Davis Middle School Dragons and the Great Plains Middle School Wolves.

Davis Middle School, for students in sixth through eighth grades, will be the 12th OPS middle school. The other middle schools also have been named after people.

The school's attendance area generally will be north of Fort Street and west and north of Interstate 680.

Bartels suggested collaborating with the local Alfonza W. Davis Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen and having a sort of living history museum about Davis and the airmen.

It's an idea that Bob Rose, Bellevue resident and president of the local chapter, supports. Whenever the group works with kids, Rose said, its members stress the motto the airmen lived by: “You can do anything you want to if you are prepared.”

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Jonathon Braden    |   402-444-1074    |  

Jonathon writes about education, mostly the Omaha Public Schools, Nebraska's largest district.

State Department moves to delay Keystone XL pipeline decision
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
High court denies death row appeal of cult leader convicted of murder
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
Omaha judge reprimanded for intervening in peer attorney's DUI case
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Police seek public's help in finding an armed man
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member helps lead fight against Omaha violence
Church is pressing its case for old Temple Israel site
OPPD board holding public forum, open house May 7
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
< >
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »