Kirby “Bo” Dennis, Class of 1996, participated in BHS baseball, wrote for the school newspaper and was a member of the National Honor Society. He graduated from West Point in 2000 and went on to get his Masters in Policy Management in 2005 from Georgetown University. Dennis served 31 months in combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School, Pathfinder School and Jumpmaster School. He served in the Offices of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Promoted early to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he commands an Infantry battalion of approximately 700 soldiers in Colorado. He volunteers with Sharing and Caring Hands, Special Olympics, the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, Pikes Peak Chapter of the Boy Scouts and the Ronald McDonald House of Colorado Springs.
Annette B. Kuz, Class of 1980, was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated third in her class. She participated in symphonic band, speech original oratory, soccer and cross country skiing. She received the Voice of Democracy Award and the Project 120 scholarship. She went on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of St. Thomas in only 2 ½ years. There she was a member of the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honor Society and the Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society. She received her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1986. She is also a graduate of the Army Management Staff College and the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership for Democratic Staff College. A member of the Minnesota and California Bars, she currently serves as Regional Counsel for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division. She received awards for Excellence in Client Care and Legal Services for 2007-2009.
Bradley Keith MacDonald, Class of 1989, lettered in in theater and band and served as vice president of the school’s chapter of the International Thespian Society. He participated in plays, musicals and Showtime, travelling to entertain inmates at Indiana State Prison with that group. He was a founding member of BHS’s student chapter of Amnesty International and also worked on the school newspaper and yearbook. He received a bachelor's degree in Theater and Drama, and an acting specialist degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1994. There he participated in plays and musicals, wrote for the student newspapers, was a DJ on the student radio station and performed improvisational comedy at Comedy Sportz. After graduation he returned to the Twin Cities where he wrote and performed at Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop and Instant Theater Company. He also performed in numerous plays and was featured in print ads, television and radio commercials. In 1998, he moved to Los Angeles where he has worked in independent films, television pilots, live theater, improv and print ads. He has had a recurring role in comedy bits on CONAN and has been featured as “Rival Insurance Agent, Tom” with “Flo” in Progressive Insurance ads.
Karen Schaefer Ruth, Class of 1979, participated in soccer, basketball and softball at BHS. She was captain of both the soccer and softball teams. Her batting average of .600 set a school record in 1979 when then team was the state runner up. She began flying at the age of 15 before she could drive a car. She graduated in 3 ½ years from the University of North Dakota with a 3.7 Grade Point Average and majors in Aeronautical Studies and Geography and a minor in Meteorology. She was also a member of the UND softball team. She was one of the first 50 female pilots hired in the United States. At the age of 23, she became the eighth female pilot hired by Republic Airlines. She received both Northwest Airline’s President’s Club Award and Delta Airline’s Chairman’s Club awards, the highest honor at both airlines. She was chosen to fly the first wide body Airbus 330 to the United States from France with the top 100 airline employees on board. She is a volunteer for Women in Aviation Chapter and is an Ambassador for Delta Airlines.
Deanna A. Thompson, Class of 1985, was a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, band and Choraliers. She also was a member of First Light Choir and taught Sunday school at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. She earned a Rupp Family Scholarship and an American Association of University Women scholarship. In 1989, she earned her BA in Religion and American Studies from St. Olaf College where she was a member of the Blue Key National Honorary Fraternity. She went on to earn her Master of Arts and Religion from Yale University, summa cum laude in 1992 and her Ph.D. in theology from Vanderbilt University in 1998. She works at Hamline University where she was named Faculty of the Year by both students and faculty in 2009. She received the Conger Prize for Scholarship in the Humanities in 2004 and has authored four books including "The Virtual Body of Christ in a Suffering World." She has received a sabbatical grant for 2016-17 for “Glimpsing Resurrection: A Post Traumatic Theology of Cancer.”
Donald Brian Timm, Class of 1967, was a member of the BHS Lettermans’ Club 1964-1967. He ran Varsity Cross Country team, an individual Missota Conference champion and member of the first team championship in BHS history. He was also a basketball letter winner 1966 and 1967 and a Varsity Track and Field letter winner 1964-1967. He was the Missota conference champion in the mile in 1967 when the team also won the state championship. He attended the University of Minnesota where he was awarded the Henry L. Williams Scholarship for Athletic and Scholastic Proficiency in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. He graduated in 1972 with Distinction. He set a record for the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 1971 that still stands today (8:39.0). He is the only Gopher to win NCAA All American honors in the steeplechase. He was an alternated for steeplechase to the 1976 U.S. Olympic Team, He won first place in the U.S. Track and Field Federation National meet and All American honors in the 3,000 meter Steeplechase in 1976 and 1977. He was elected to the Minnesota Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2001 and the “M” Club Gopher Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was also the recipient of the Minnesota National Girls and Women in Sports Day Breaking Barriers Award in 2014.
1985 Boys' Swimming and Diving Team
This team was the first to bring home the Boys' State Swimming Championship to Burnsville High School. Under the guidance of legendary coach Dennis Dale, the team played the role of underdog all year, and yet their success was not unexpected after a decade of training together as age-group swimmers in the area. The prior year's boys' team finished 22nd in the state. Predicted in 1985 to finish behind teams like Edina, Park Center and Lakeville, the 1985 boys' team stunningly upset all challengers at the state meet hosted in the old Cooke Hall pool at the University of Minnesota on March 8-9, 1985, with solid performances and depth of 6 key swimmers. John Bordi, Paul Jensen, John Schmeling, and Bret Busse set the pace by winning the 200 yd. medley relay in school record time. Everyone then knew the team was for real. Rob Marshall and Don Appleby medaled in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events and Jensen medaled in the 100 breaststroke. Schmeling, Busse and Bordi provided crucial points in individual events. Then, Schmeling, Appleby, Busse and Marshall sealed the state victory by medaling in the 400 freestyle relay, thereby edging out Park Center and sending Edina packing. The team didn't celebrate long, as they grabbed pizza in Dinkytown and headed out to the St. Paul Civic Center to witness an unprecedented daily double championship when the boys' hockey team beat Hill Murray followed by an impromptu school assembly that night back at Burnsville High School.
1985 Boys’ Hockey Team
Hours after the boys' swimming team won the state championship, 20 Braves hockey players finished their season 25-1-1, capturing the 41st State Hockey Tournament title. In addition to precision teamwork, the successful season could be attributed to Coach Tom Osiecki, who led the Braves to their third consecutive state tournament and first championship. With merely 27 seconds left on the clock, the Braves made it clear that finishing 2nd wouldn't suffice. As the Civic Center crowd watched with baited breath, junior Scott Bloom slammed in the deciding goal with a 4-3 victory. The intensity of the fire on ice continued to mount in the stands until the final buzzer sounded. Goalie Kevin Gorg and student manager Paul Lewis were drowned in the congratulating and celebrating of their revering tournament crowd. When the Braves entered the tournament, they had one tie with Kennedy and a single defeat to Jefferson. In the state tournament, the Braves defeated Bemidji 5-3, overcame rival Jefferson 5-1, and beat Hill Murray for the state championship. The climb wasn't an easy one for Head Coach Osiecki, Asst. Coach Bruce Anderson, and the team, but the awesome rewards were well worth the effort.