Honor of His Life

Principal Brian Begley looks back on time at MN before saying farewell

For 15 years, Brian Begley has had what he would consider the privilege of leading MN as its principal. Now, a journey that began years ago will soon draw to a close.

“I will definitely miss our students, as well as the relationships that I’ve been fortunate enough to develop with all of the people in our school,” Begley said.

That relationship-building started in 1992 when Begley was hired to teach English at MN, well before his own sons attended the school. His ability to connect with students has shone through his many years in education.

“He’s [Begley] raised teenagers, he taught teenagers. He was a teacher for many years. He knows what makes them tick, and he knows how to build relationships with them. I see him doing it constantly–he’s in the hallway talking to kids, high-fiving kids, building those bridges all the time,” social studies department head David Diehl said.

Begley’s commitment to students was developed by being a part of a family involved in public servitude as his father was a postal worker, and his mother was a teacher at OPS. Not to mention, his wife was an elementary teacher before becoming a substitute teacher at MN. 

“For him [Begley], it’s just truly giving back to the community and caring deeply about seeing our community, Omaha and Millard, as a whole be successful,” assistant principal Aaron Bearinger said. 

In addition to having a heart for the community, Begley has a passion for MN curated by a belief in MN’s excellency. This belief has guided him in the decisions he makes for the school.

“He [Begley] doesn’t want to be second best in anything. He wants our kids to succeed. So, because of him, we have things like directed study hall and guided study hall. We have the study center for kids who need extra help. Another way, besides action to make us succeed, is inaction. He hires great teachers, and then, he gets out of the way,” Diehl said.

Begley learned this philosophy of inaction by former MN principal Dr. Ike Pane, who served as a role model for Begley and taught him to always prioritize students when making decisions as principal. 

“I owe a lot to Dr. Pane, and I am deeply grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to teach our students at MN,” Begley said.

Based on the principles he gained from Pane, Begley has retained key takeaways from his time as MN’s principal:

“Every student’s success matters.  On a related note, the increasing diversity of our school has enriched our community in profound ways, resulting in even greater opportunities for our students to succeed academically, behaviorally, and socially,” Begley said.  

 Having this success at MN has proven to be an important element of Begley’s legacy.

“His legacy is [that] he maintained and improved a culture of excellence, while building strong relationships with students and teachers the entire time,” Diehl said.

 While Begley’s legacy lasts at MN, he will continue to build upon it in his new position as principal of Bluestem Middle School in OPS, effective August 2022. He will be overseeing the new school’s construction and the hiring of its teachers before it opens its doors in August 2023. 

Even as MN works through this leadership transition, there is no doubt that Begley has had a great impact here–and despite our principal of 15 years moving on, the future of the school is still bright.

“It’s going to be a little bit different next year, to not be able to walk down a couple offices and have a conversation [with Begley]. It’s also an exciting time for MN, to see what the next chapter is going to be. He’s done a great job of hiring great teachers, we’ve always had amazing students, and so MNHS will continue to be great,” Bearinger said. 

While Begley has been a catalyst of that greatness at MN, the school has also had a substantial, positive affect on him–an impact he will cherish well after he moves on.

“Millard North has meant everything to us [the Begley family], and the Mustang family will forever be special to me because being Millard North principal has been the professional honor of my life,” Begley said.