Burke Outstanding Alumni Award Winners

Each year, Burke Alumni Association recognizes recognizes Burke alumni who have excelled in their chosen fields. If there is a Burke grad that you’d like to nominate, please let us know!

The Outstanding Alumni is presented to an alumnus who has made outstanding contributions in one or more of the following ways:

  • Exceptional accomplishment in chosen field.
  • Exceptional service in local, state or national affairs.
  • Exceptional service in support of the advancement and continued excellence of Burke High School and/or Omaha Public Schools.

We are saddened by the news that Captain Matt Rings, Class of 1981 and recipient of the 2018 Burke Outstanding Alumni Award, passed away on February 26, 2020 from a 3 year battle with prostate cancer.  His funeral was March 6, 2020.

Matt Rings started attending Burke as a Junior, transferring from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Matt graduated in 1981, with the dream of becoming a doctor.  He attended University of Nebraska at Omaha on a full-ride scholarship, and graduated with a BA in Chemistry.  He studied one year of theology at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, before being hired as a research biochemist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

After three years in research, Matt was accepted to medical school at UNMC, graduating in 1993, with a Navy Health Profession Scholarship leading to a commission in the Medical Staff Corp.

CAPT Rings served 25 years in the Navy, first as a flight surgeon flying F-14 Tomcats, and deploying with the Marines to far flung locales.

He served seventeen years as a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, recognized internationally as the leading expert in Aerospace vision research and policy for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army and Air Force and partner nations around the world.

His wife, Toni is a Central High graduate, whom he met in 1986 at Christ Community Church.

We are honored to be able to call Captain Matthew Rings a Burke Bulldog. 


Laurie Smith Camp (1971)
Michael McClymond (1976)
Deb King-Ward (1979)
Tim Carman (1980)
Hon. Thomas Zimmerman (1980)
Michael Sophir (1981)


Deb Blair-Schorr (1979)
Craig Anton (1980)
Captain Matthew Rings (1981)
John B. Jenkins (1984)
Eugene Ohr (1986)
Nne Ebong (1992)


Scott Noble (1980)
Brett Thomsen (1984)
Dara Rosenberg (1998)

Past Alumni Winners

George Andrews (1974)
Rob Baker (1980)
Randy Brown (1984)
Richard Bruneteau (1974)
Arlo Burk (1974)
Craig Cooperrider (1972)
Barney Cotton (1975)
Van Deeb (1977)
Harris Frankel (1978)
Randy Green (1969)
Susan Hallstrom-Evanich (1972)
Pat Hazell (1979)
Clifford Herd (1970)
Mike Hill (1967)
Lori Hogan (1980)
Oliver Hoig (1982)
Darnetta Hunter (1997)
Carol Johnessee (1973)
Ryan Kaiser (1993) 
Greg Kruger (1976)
Rod Kush (1975)
Margaret Lim (1976)
Pete McCann (1985)
Camille Metoyer-Moten (1972)
Chuck Meyers (1970)
Maria Ridgway-Moran (1970)
Debby (Furstenberg) Rinn-Harvey (1969)
Nessie Miller-Swedlund (1964)
James Sanduski (1977)
Sandy Scott-Parker (1975)
Steve Sershen (1973)
Terry Watanabe (1974)
Susan Wehner-Jones (1973)
Merica Whitehall (1986)
Daniel Weidner (1968)