Lisa (Brakke) Carlson – Class of 1990

Burke High School has had a profound impact on the life of 1990 graduate, Lisa (Brakke) Carlson.  From her early elementary years when she frequently accompanied her parents to Bulldog athletic games, homecoming parades, and musical productions, through her own high school years as a student, and then as a parent of two Burke students, Burke High School has been a second home to Lisa for 52 years.

During her time at Burke, Lisa’s academic and extracurricular experiences as well as the life-long friends she met at school, helped shape the person she is today.  Lessons learned in the classroom, playing volleyball and soccer, leading the cheer team, and performing in musicals prepared her for success throughout life.   Additionally, she was inspired by her favorite English teachers and coaches to pursue a career in education and coaching.  After finishing her undergraduate degree in secondary education at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lisa returned to the Omaha Public Schools where she taught and coached for four years at the middle school and high school level.  When she made the difficult decision to leave education for a new career opportunity with Pfizer, Lisa continued to give back to the Omaha Public Schools and Burke High School in various ways.

In addition to supporting the PTOs at all schools attended by her two daughters, she helped start a PTO for the opening of the new Davis Middle School.  During the time her daughters attended Burke, she co-led the annual fundraising event, BURKE BASH, for seven years and served as the Burke Booster President for two years. In both capacities, she spearheaded efforts that raised over $150,000 to support the staff and students at Burke.  In 2017 she led the effort to resurrect the Burke Alumni Association and to bring more attention to the Outstanding Alumni Award that her father, Rod Brakke, started 30 years earlier.  In 2017, she also accepted the challenge of raising money to renovate the Burke Stadium.  Her efforts resulted in raising $2.6million dollars toward the long-overdue renovation which is scheduled to begin in 2024.

Lisa’s memories and gratitude for the relationships she has formed through Burke are the reasons she continues to support and give back to the school that gave her so much.   She currently serves on the Burke Alumni Assocation Board where she is expanding her network of friends and fellow alumni, and she envisions a thriving and active Alumni Association that will connect Bulldogs past, present, and future for years to come.

Lisa is married to fellow Omaha native, Glenn Carlson, and she is proud to share alumni status with her two daughters, Alexa Carlson (class of 2020) and Erin Carlson (class of 2023).