In his time at Papillion La Vista High School, Mike Burkhart was a versatile athlete excelling in basketball. Burkhart was selected as Honorable Mention All-State his senior year and represented Papillion La Vista in the Nebraska’s High School All-Star game. Burkhart accepted a full ride basketball scholarship to Bellevue College (now Bellevue University) where he became the team’s leading scorer as a freshman. By the time he graduated, Burkhart was ranked tenth in the nation in scoring and first in the nation in free throws. He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Business.
While in college Burkhart took a part‐time job at Pizza Hut and quickly rose through the ranks of the company. In 1988, Burkhart relocated to Pizza Hut’s headquarters in Wichita, KS to become the National Director of Home Delivery, introducing the home pizza delivery concept to the nation. Burkhart was recruited by and worked for multiple companies until 2003, when a life‐changing event occurred.
Burkhart became critically ill and was hospitalized in a coma for six months. After months of recuperation and several years of rehabilitation, Burkhart has resumed some semblance of a normal life, though a brain injury left him permanently disabled.
Burkhart can no longer play basketball, but he stays active coaching. Along with a former high school teammate, Burkhart coaches the Beast 7th graders for Bellevue East. Burkhart’s hard work and excellence was recognized in 2015 when he was inducted into the Bellevue University Hall of Fame. He continues to accept challenges his disability present him. Burkhart married his college sweetheart, Patricia. They have three grown sons and a grandchild.
Gala 2017 celebrates the outstanding education in Papillion La Vista Community Schools. Proceeds from Gala 2017 will support additional educational opportunities for Papillion La Vista students that otherwise would not be possible, such as 6th Grade Outdoor Education, the Elementary Arts Program, Scholarships for Graduating Seniors and more. Gala serves as an occasion to publicly recognize new Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni, Legendary Educators, and Community Boosters.
Learn more about one of our 2017 Legendary Educator Hall of Fame award recipients, Janey Sommers.Read More
Learn more about one of our 2017 Legendary Educator Hall of Fame award recipients, Harlan Cook.Read More