In the fall of 1996, Skinner Magnet Center opened at 4304 North 33rd Street with a K-6 curriculum emphasizing Math, Technology and Performing Arts. Most of the staff had previously taught at the district's Druid Hill School.
The School's namesake, Eugene Willis Skinner, was a 1933 graduate of Omaha Technical High School who excelled in athletics and in the classroom. He received a BA degree from the University of Iowa in 1938 and an MA from the same institution in 1946. Skinner joined the Omaha Public Schools as a physical education teacher in the fall of 1940. He later became the first African American to hold the positions of principal, director and assistant superintendent for OPS. Skinner retired from the district in 1979. During his time of service to the Omaha Public Schools, Eugene Skinner was sensitive as well as visionary. As a result of his efforts, peaceful desegregation was carried forward in the Omaha Public Schools, and more minority teachers were recruited and hired. Eugene Skinner touched many lives. He was never too busy to stop and talk with a youngster. He always encouraged his students to do their best and rewarded their efforts with pep talks and kind words. He truly loved children and was committed to their success.
After his retirement from the Omaha Public Schools, Skinner was honored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha with an honorary doctorate of philosophy. He served as president of the West Omaha Rotary Club and was a member of the Ak-Sar-Ben Court of Honor.