Why Burke? Watch our recruitment video!

What's Special About Burke?

  • The largest number of Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual-Enrolled (DE) courses in the state
  • Experienced quality teachers with over 65% of our staff holding Masters Degrees and 8 current staff members who are winners of the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award
  • The Focus Program, a selection based program within the school that offers more individual instruction and a focus on Leadership and Technology
  • The Air & Space Academy where students select from one of four pathways: Professional Flight, Aerospace Mechanics, Air and Space Management, Aerospace Technology
  • We are proud to be one of the few schools in the nation with our own Planetarium, and with our ongoing construction will soon have our own Flight Simulator
  • An award winning fine arts program with a recognized band, jazz band, color guard, show choir, and drama areas
  • Lots of extra-curricular activities including: 43 clubs, 20 activities, and 19 sports
  • Our Rockstars! Burke's alternative curriculum program for students with severe disabilities that offers ALL of our students exposure, and the opportunity to work with these truly extraordinary kids.
  • A rigorous academic program which has lead to a consistent record of National Merit Recognition and AP Recognition for our students

How Can I See What Burke is All About for Myself?

GET IN THE BUILDING! There are many good high schools in the Omaha area, and each has its own personality. The best way for you to pick a high school that's right for your needs, interests, and personality is to get into the building get a better idea of how the school functions.

Some ways you can get to know Burke High School include:

  1. Come for a tour. We can schedule tours between 9:00 – 2:00 on most school days. This will give you the opportunity to see our building in full action. We will walk the halls, look at classrooms, experience a passing period, maybe even a lunch period! We will talk about what is most important for a high school experience and will make sure that all of your questions are answered. Just call Andrew Brooks to setup an appointment (531)-299-9273 or email Andrew.Brooks@ops.org
  2. Come to our Open House – This is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the building. You can also talk with teachers, coaches, sponsors as well as hear from our principal.

We make it a priority to protect our academic learning environment from disruptions. Therefore, we do not allow “shadowing” of classes during the school day.

Why Our Students Choose Burke

I was accepted into the FOCUS Program and I knew this leadership would help me grow into the best student and member of my community. ~Katherine

I had to keep the legacy going! My dad and brother went to Burke. Also, the FOCUS program!

I chose to attend Burke because of the basketball team. Also, a lot of my friends were coming here, and my dad attended Burke back in the day. ~Shereef

I chose Burke because it is close to my home and it offers great sports opportunities ~Derek


Mr. Darren Rasmussen darren.rasmussen@ops.org

Academic Director:

Mr. Chad Price  jason.williams@ops.org

Athletic Director:

Mr. Jason Williams  jason.williams@ops.org

Student Services Director: 

Mrs. Kathy Lee kathy.lee@ops.org

School Counseling Director:

Mrs. Hope Smejkal hope.smejkal@ops.org

What Our Parents Have to Say

It is not often that parents can say that they have 9 years and counting of experience with one High School. Particularly a public High School. In our case, my wife and I blended our 8 children in October of 2008 and from that date on we have driven to Burke nearly every day. At this point we have had 4 children graduate from Burke (one left prior to his senior year to complete school in NC), we have two enrolled at Burke currently, and one more who will start in the Fall of 2018. By the end of the school year in 2022 we will have had 14 straight years of Burke High School. What is our opinion of Burke H.S.? We've trusted all 8 of our children to Burke.

My wife and I are both full-time realtors (after 13+ years as a college career services administrator, and stay-at-home mother), and routinely find ourselves working with clients who house hunt based on all kinds of criteria. One of the common criteria is that of schools. They pull up every report known to man to judge the best schools for their current or future kids. It is quite common for people to insist on Millard Schools, District 66, or Elkhorn schools. For the families that care deeply about schools, those are the common choices. We then hear their many reasons for choosing those schools. Professionally, our opinion means nothing, so we simply listen and serve. But personally, we have voted by our actions.

We are raising children who can handle life. We want our children to know how to work for what they want. We teach our children that it is their job to go after their goals, make choices, and be responsible for the choices they make. Teenagers never make good choices 100% of the time, so they often stumble along the way. But it is their job to own those choices. As we look at Burke, and the experience our children have had, each has had a different experience. Why is that? Not because the opportunity changed or somehow one of our children was given less of a chance to succeed than another. But rather because teenagers make choices. They know what is right and wrong, and they make choices. Some choices are bad but don't lead to major problems; some choices are good and don't lead to major triumph; some choices are good and lead to exciting opportunities; and some choices are bad and lead to consequences with a real price to pay.

With 8 children, we've seen all these different choices playing out in our children as they walk the path of high school at Burke. And consistently, with each of our children, we are grateful to say that all of our children have been supported, challenged, and held accountable for their choices.

For our children who have completed life at Burke, each is thriving in their own way. Collectively, they are all handling their business and being responsible. We have two children pursuing college; one who is happily married; and two that are living together, working, paying bills, saving money, and living life as they choose. For the 2 children at Burke currently, they have learned the benefits of engaging in the "fun" of high school. Both have found a home in their chosen athletic arena, and have been tremendously blessed by the challenge and support of the coaches they work with. These two boys are thriving and believing in their potential and future, in part, because outstanding coaches took the time to teach, challenge, push, and support our kids. Who knows exactly what these two will do after graduation, but I know they are having opportunities come to them because they have chosen to engage in the "fun" of high school, have some talents that are unique, and have coaches who help them see their own potential and connect them to opportunities.

Our last child has yet to arrive but undoubtedly she will have whatever experience at Burke she chooses to have. The teachers, coaches, staff, and administrators are all there to connect and support the children. Therefore, our daughter will have every opportunity to find her niche, be inspired to explore new things, and hopefully make healthy choices that lead to her likewise being an inspired and responsible adult.

Naturally there is a great deal of teaching going on at home. We set rules, make adjustments for the uniqueness of each of our children, and do all we can to challenge them to discover their talents, develop new ones, take risks, and believe in themselves.

Burke High School has played a key role in helping us accomplish what we hoped for with each of our children. When we were needing to hold our children accountable for their poor choices, Burke did so but also offered support to help them overcome. When a child decided he wanted to quit football as a freshmen since he was smaller than many at the time, a quick phone call to the coach from us, led to the staff reaching out to our son to give him just enough encouragement that he stuck with it (and now will enter his last year as a starting lineman with a chance to play college football if he chooses). Burke gave a home to two children in the Band program that helped them develop lifelong friendships and memories that only band can offer. And for our youngest son, the track and XC coaches have challenged him to see the uniqueness of his talent and the potential he possess, even at the young age of 15, to compete in college at the division 1 level. And with all that support, they always work to hold our children accountable for their academic choices as well.

Burke is a part of our family. For Tammie and I, we are both proud to say that Burke has played a positive and key role in helping us raise our children. But it wasn't the building (I'm a Central Alum, and am a little partial to the look of my high school), it was and is the people who work at Burke and serve our children.

With Gratitude and Respect,

Michael & Tammie Rheiner

AP Courses offered at Burke 2020-2021 (33)

AP Capstone



History and Social Science

Math and Computer Science


AP World Languages and Cultures

*Dual Enrolled with UNO
**Dual Enrolled with Midland