The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

It’s a ‘pretty big deal’

South’s rich history spans more than 130 years
Photo courtesy Omaha South High Alumni Association.

“South is a pretty big deal,” said South High School Principal Jodi Pesek. “I would have never thought I would be where I am now.”

Omaha South High School has changed a lot these past years and is still growing to this day. Take a look back and see what has changed.

South High has served students in facilities at multiple locations from 1887 to 1925, Pesek said. In 1926, the original portion (the center of the building) of South’s current building opened for business.

The south wing was added in 1926, and the north wing of the school in 1959. The most recent renovations were in the early 1990s. This renovation, Pesek said, allowed for the installation of new lighting, carpet and more classroom spaces plus a full-sized gym.

Back in 1921, South students began their day at 8:15 a.m., and the hallways were very loud. There were some clubs in existence that South may not even have today. For example, The Tooter began in 1909. There was also a debate team, an honors club and more, according to old editions of The Tooter.

Let’s get into South sports.

In 1986, South had two gyms, one where the band room is currently, and another on the third floor. Since South didn’t have a full-size football stadium back then, they had to use George W. Norris Middle School’s field for their sporting events such as football or soccer.

Tooter student reporters used to call the other teams South played against “her” or “she” in the 1920s, which is very different from how we report on sports today.

Fun Fact: In 1959, South didn’t have many classrooms like it does now.

South used to send students off campus for more classroom space; for example, Pesek said classes would be held in a church and a bowling alley nearby.

Pesek said she attended South and graduated in 1986 and talked about what South was like back in her day.  Pesek said there was no air conditioning in the building at the time, so everyone was either hot or cold. Additionally, everyone had a locker for all their big books.

She added that it was a dream come true when she got the job to be principal for South in October 2020. At that time, the district needed someone to help out South due to all of the challenges the Covid-19 epidemic presented.

Pesek also said she is happy that South has the staff it does.

Another interesting fact about the building is that the stairs on the second floor that go down to lunch were not there in the 1980s. Before that, it went outwards, leading outside where there was a floor of grass with two large concrete squares where students would hang out most of the time to have free time or lunch; students called it “The Slab.”

She also said the cafeteria used to be on the fifth floor, so students brought their own lunches or had to walk all the way up to the fifth floor.

Overall, while South through the decades has really changed, it’s kept its spirt and rich tradition of education. In fact, it is still growing and improving for the better of everyone.

“You don’t fix what’s not broken,” Pesek said.



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Ian Wilton Rodriguez, Staff Writer
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  • S

    Savannah IrahetaApr 26, 2024 at 6:50 pm

    Amazing story on south!

  • J

    Joaquin ZaragozaApr 26, 2024 at 4:03 pm

    good yap