Tag Archives: Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart

January/February 2019 Between the Lines

January 3, 2019 by
Photography by provided

Alicia Hollins Senior Sales Coordinator

Alicia has worked at Omaha Magazine for 11 years as Gil Cohen’s assistant. She is currently the senior sales coordinator, helping Gil with customer service, ad work, and sales. She loves the creative and collaborative atmosphere of magazine work. She also enjoys collaborating on house projects with her husband, Trevor. She is the president-elect of the Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart Alumnae Board and an active volunteer at Loveland Elementary. She enjoys researching her family tree, and has even received a certificate from Boston University in genealogical research. All of this happens while she is fielding an array of constant questions from her amazing 8-year-old, Logan.


Anthony FlottContributing Writer

Anthony fell in love with magazines in grade school when his carpenter father gave him a large box of old Sports Illustrated magazines found on a job site. Later, Anthony also worked in construction, laid asphalt, and cut trees for various family-owned enterprises. Eventually, he decided on a career where he could avoid physical exertion and workplaces equipped only with outhouses. He earned communication degrees from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and worked three years for the Papillion Times Newspaper Group. For 25 years since then, he’s been editor of the award-winning UNO Magazine. He’s also a widely published magazine freelance writer and has taught magazine editing and writing classes at UNO. He is married with four children.


Justine YoungEditorial Intern

Justine is a senior at UNO studying English, with a focus on creative nonfiction writing and absolutely no intention of becoming a teacher. Armed with a limited attention span, a fleeting passion for almost any subject, and a deep appreciation of ice cream, she hopes to one day write a great novel, or at the very least, a plethora of mediocre books. When she is not studying or visiting her family in rural Iowa, you can find her swing dancing, recruiting friends for a good old-fashioned game of bingo, or reading anything by Ann Patchett. Despite her Iowa roots, she considers Omaha home, and she works hard to convince locals that the word “bag” should be pronounced “beg.”


Megan FabryEditorial Intern

Megan is pursuing degrees in journalism and English at UNO. Born and raised in Omaha, this one-third of triplets spent much of her childhood hanging out with her other two-thirds, and their older brother. Megan graduated in 2014 from Millard West High School, where she was a copy editor for the yearbook. She is the arts and entertainment editor for UNO’s newspaper, The Gateway, and she hopes to continue contributing to the student-run publication until she graduates. In her spare time, Megan enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on, watching historical documentaries, and spending time with family.

This article was printed in the January/February 2019 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.


Showing Mercy

November 22, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Caroline Hinrichs took her marketing, branding, business development, and sales experience and kicked it up a few notches. She co-founded Omaha’s first experiential marketing firm, where consumers participate directly in a marketing program. She has since positioned herself as a business development leader, finding her niche with architectural and design firms as a go-between—someone who understands the client’s perspective and asks strategic questions that often go unanswered.

Theresa Franco, vice president of Cancer and Radiology Services at Nebraska Medicine, never used her nursing degrees to work in cancer care until the University of Nebraska Medical Center came calling. It hired her to build its stem cell and bone marrow transplant program. That program morphed into the Lied Transplant Center and, more recently, the Buffett Cancer Center, which Franco’s team helped design and develop.

Mary Higgins, president of Marian High School and the first alumna to hold that position, once barged into the office of the director of intramural sports at Creighton University and demanded that he start a women’s sports program. It worked.

In the spring of 1973, the Creighton senior played catcher on the university’s first women’s softball team. After earning a master’s degree in physical education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Higgins coached softball at her undergraduate alma mater. She later served as a Creighton administrator.

Three highly successful women in three distinct professions, yet all exhibit similar characteristics: they’re dynamic, easy-going, self-assured, intelligent women who possess impeccable people skills and have learned to juggle the demands of a family with the demands of a high-profile career.

They also share an educational background. Hinrichs, Franco, and Higgins went to all-girls high schools. The reasons for attending their respective schools differ, but the results echo each other.

“My parents were interested in the benefits of a single-sex education, especially for girls, and they had me tour a couple,” says Hinrichs, who attended Westside schools through eighth grade. “They sort of let it be my decision, but at the same time encouraged me to make it.”

Once Hinrichs toured Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart at 36th and Burt streets, the idea of an all-girls school didn’t seem so bad, even though she had no friends or connections there.

“I loved the building, the small class sizes, the formality of it, and its tradition. I really loved the high level of academics. I craved that,” she says.

Franco, who grew up in a devout Catholic family near 48th and Grover streets, says she never really had a choice of going anywhere else but Mercy High School.

“My mom and her sisters all went there, and I had three older sisters there,” she says. “My father made it very clear to me that’s where I was going.”

But did she like it?

“I loved Mercy,” says Franco. “I felt at home because I grew up in a home of several women, plus a lot of my classmates from St. Thomas More went there.” From the outset, Franco’s personality began to emerge. “I was determined not to be ‘another Franco girl.’ My sisters were quieter than I was, kind of compliant, but I wanted to carve my own reputation.”

The student known for her spirituality and kindness went on to earn a nursing degree at Creighton in 1978 and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas.

Family ties never entered into Mary Higgins’ decision to choose Marian High School.

“I have no idea why I went there,” she laughs. “We lived fairly close, in St. Bernard’s parish and lots of my classmates from there were going to Marian, so I figured, ‘Well, I’ll just go with the flow.’”

She entered the school at 74th Street and Military Avenue in 1965, a mere 10 years after Marian opened. She “had a spectacular experience as far as involvement and leadership opportunities,” serving as class president three years running.

“The only thing I didn’t like was we had no competitive athletics, as was the case in all other high schools, because it was pre-Title IX,” referring to the federal mandate passed in 1972 that equalized the playing field for girls in sports.

The same self-confidence, chutzpah, and conviction of her beliefs that led Higgins to demand women’s sports at Creighton seeped into all three women during their high school years. Each cites the ability to take risks, to speak up in class without feeling self-conscious, to meet high expectations, to have opportunities to lead, and to participate in all areas of school life as the biggest rewards of their education.

The lack of boys in their classes never registered a blip.

“I didn’t define my experience at Duchesne as ‘not being distracted by boys,’” says Hinrichs, 35, who holds a degree from Colorado College in Spanish and theater. “I was around strong women, and that set me up for not framing anything around, ‘how do men affect this?’”

Taking boys out of the equation doesn’t seem to affect performance. All three schools boast a 100 percent graduation rate. College acceptances also reach 100 percent.

“Scholarship money given to our graduates topped $20 million last year,” says Dr. Laura Hickman, Duchesne principal and an alumna.

So why the continued debate over the benefits of an all-girls education?

“I have no idea,” Hickman laughs. “It probably stems from not experiencing it. They have no idea how absolutely transformative it can be.”

Higgins now sees the transformation she underwent from the perspective of an administrator.

“I look across the student body and they’re wearing the same uniform, they don’t have a dollop of makeup on, they haven’t agonized over their hair,” she observes with a sense of pride. “We’re not free from social pressures. We just remove many layers.”

Mary Higgins

Visit schools.archomaha.org for more information.

This article appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of B2B.