Take a drive down Brothaman Boulevard
September 26, 2014
It started with a lie.
Pretending to be interviewers for an African American education magazine, Roberta White and Bridgette Gilchrist started asking questions.
The truth: they were collecting information to submit to the Omaha City Council.
The result: Gene R. Haynes Street.
Principal Gene R. Haynes will be recognized for his services by having a street named after him. The street running past Omaha North High School, the portion of 36th Street between and Ames and Sahler, will be renamed Gene R. Haynes Street in his honor.
“When Roberta White and Bridgette Gilchrist started asking questions, I thought something was up,” Haynes, said. White and Gilchrist nominated Haynes for the street.
White was in the class of 1995, which was the same class as Haynes’ only child. White had Haynes as an administrator at North, and Gilchrist had Haynes for an administrator at McMillan Jinior High School. White and Gilchrist, both residents of Washington, DC, visit Haynes whenever possible.
Haynes said that when White and Gilchrist called him, they started asking him questions. White and Gilchrist were posing as if they were interviewing Haynes for a magazine about African Americans in education.
He was not sure what the questions were for until the Omaha City Council had approved the nomination from White and Gilchrist for Haynes to receive a commemorative street.
“One day, all that will be left of us is pictures in a yearbook, a typed document, and plenty of videos.
“One day, some young child will walk North 36th Street and say, who is Gene R. Haynes, and someone will tell about who Haynes is or who he was,” White later said.
Haynes has served 47 years in the Omaha Public School District. He started teaching at Technical High School in 1967 until the school closed in 1984.
Haynes then moved to McMillan Junior High School and served as the assistant principal and athletic director. From there, Haynes moved to Omaha North High School and became the assistant principal and later the principal.
Haynes has been at Omaha North High School for 29 years.
“It’s a great honor,” Haynes said.