During the annual Friends of Pius X Reception in August, Sally Burt was honored as a Distinguished Steward for demonstrating exemplary commitment to Pius X High School, serving as a role model to our community and as a leader in fulfilling the Pius X mission, and for generously sharing her time, talent and treasure.
A former Pius X Foundation Board of Director member, Sally co-founded B.O.L.T., the annual gala that has brought in millions of dollars to support the school, and is a long-time Pius X English teacher who continues to substitute and support the school after her retirement in 2012. She co-sponsored the Literature Club, developed the literary magazine Wordstruck, earned the Nebraska Writing Project’s highest honor of Teacher of the Year in 2004, and is a member of the Nebraska Educators Hall of Fame.
Sally also co-created the three-year Embedded Institute partnership program at Pius X, helping “a widening circle of Catholic educators see the potential of writing for their own and their students’ growth.” Her influence within the state’s Writing Project is also “legendary” – as one member of her writing group explained, “Sally embeds her history of faith in her writing and shares that love and gratitude to God with those who read it.”
In addition to generously sharing her talents and time with her students, colleagues, and fellow writers, Sally has lovingly cared for her family and our community, modeling charity, leadership, and selflessness. After her first teaching assignment at Lincoln High School (’65-’66), Sally took a hiatus of more than 25 years to raise six children who exemplify her Catholic values while also teaching CCD, founding a prayer group that continues today, and (more recently) becoming a Eucharistic minister at Cathedral of the Risen Christ.
Sally’s relationship with Pius X High School began in 1981, when her oldest son, Charlie, joined the Pius X family as a freshman. As principal Tom Korta described:
This was just the beginning of an incredible succession of Burt family members – children and grandchildren alike – who have made a significant impact on Pius X High School ever since. Sally has not only contributed her fair share of treasure over the years, but she was a co-founder of B.O.L.T., which has brought in literally millions of dollars over the past 33 years and remains a consistent source of revenue for the school and the Booster Club. Because of her initial drive, vision and energy, she has been able to multiply the treasure that has come to our school, and will provide for years to come….Sally Burt has distinguished herself as an incredible steward in all three areas (time, talent, and treasure) during her relationship with Pius X High School that has spanned more than three-and-a-half decades.
Sally Burt’s six sons graduated from Pius X, and two grandchildren are also alumni with one currently attending.
Sally began teaching at Pius X in 1997, devoting “very very long hours in order to help her students excel.” As one colleague described, “no teacher worked harder than Sally Burt for our school.” Principal Tom Korta also noted how her influence at Pius X extended beyond the classroom due to her “fervent witness to our faith” – she was “always willing to share with students and colleagues the source of her joyful service to others” and was asked to speak every year at the senior girls retreat. Sally was also known for making herself available not only to her students, but also to staff who needed help, a kind word, or classroom advice. Katie Elsener, English Department Chair at Pius X for 22 years, described Sally as “a blessing to my department” who “generously gave her time and talents to our students and staff…she spends countless hours sharing her numerous gifts and talents with the Pius X Family.”
Sally’s presence at Pius X is still common, and there are few who have attended more school events than her. She is a true fan of the Thunderbolts, and her support for our community is also well known. An active member of her parish, Sally is “a bit famous in Lincoln for her strong commitment and leadership to good works,” including volunteering for Matt Talbot and sharing Christ’s love with those most in need.