History

 

The old military trail out of Omaha to the West wound along the hilltops for protection from ambush. The ridge which the trail followed offered a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside as well as a relative amount of safety from surprise attack. On May 3, 1970, a new school placed on that same ridge overlooking a changed but still beautiful view of the countryside was dedicated. It was named for a past principal of Central High School, Mr. Joseph G. Masters. J.G. Masters was born in Kansas on February 20, 1873, and died May 19, 1954, in Pennsylvania. He was principal at Central for 24 years, beginning in 1915.  He founded the National Honor Society, and was the author of three books on Western Americana.  He gathered his historical material first hand. For years he spent summer recesses in the field, retracing the Oregon Trail foot by foot, living with Native Americans to gather their verbal traditions,and camping in historical spots. After retirement he moved to a Pennsylvania farm to carry on agricultural experiments.

 

When J.G. Masters Elementary opened on Monday, January 26, 1970, it relieved some of the pressure of crowded classrooms in other Northwest Omaha elementary schools. The relief was brief however. Masters had a capacity of 560 children and was expected to exceed that number within a year. The first principal was Mr. Donald E. Wohlers who served from the opening in 1970 until his retirement in the spring of 1992. Mr. Stephen Maher was principal from the fall of 1992 until the spring of 1995.  Mr. Duane Iwen was principal from the fall of 1995 until the spring of 1998. The former principal, Miss Jacki Weir, came during the fall semester of 1998. The current principal, Dr. LeDonna York, joined the Masters Professional Learning Team during the Fall of 2013.