Thomas Burns By Vincent Niewald


City Councilman Thomas Burns graduated from Bellevue East in 2012. After attending Metropolitan Community College, he became an assistant Probation Officer, and was elected to Bellevue’s city council. 

     “Currently, I work for Nebraska’s Second Probation District as an Assistant Probation Officer as well as serve on the Bellevue City Council. Looking to the future, I plan on serving my community in a different capacity. Possibly getting elected to an executive position.” Burns said.

      Burns said that while he himself was not a part of any extracurricular activities, looking back, he wished he had been more active in East’s activities. He encourages students to do what he missed out on. 

      “It is important for students to know they can succeed even if they aren’t heavily involved, so I guess that is part of my message. But I also want to say that participating can bring its own rewards.” Burns said. 

    No particular career path had interested Burns for most of his high school experience. However, all it took was one class for him to become dedicated enough to become an elected official. 

     “I did not know what I wanted to do when I got older,” Burns said. “I had several interests but was not committed to one career path or another. When I was a senior, I took government class and found that I enjoyed learning about the different levels and inner workings of different political offices and institutions.”

     After high school, Burns attended college, and said he made a great deal of relationships, most of which he keeps in touch with even today. After college, Burns returned to East occasionally, the last time being just three years ago. 

      “The last time I was in Bellevue East High School was in 2017, after I had joined the City Council. I am not sure that much had changed. I had a great visit, spoke to an assembly of students, and saw some teachers, staff and guidance counselors I greatly appreciate.” Burns said. 

      Thomas Burns is an excellent example of what anyone can become, as long as they stay dedicated. He says that all someone needs is a little motivation, and then they could even go as far as becoming a part of the city government, even without having been in any extracurriculars. 

“I attended Metropolitan Community College,” Burns said. “This was extremely beneficial as class times and locations are flexible. Upon completion of my two years, I went on to graduate from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. College was a fun experience. I met a lot of different people and established good relationships with a lot of my professors. I work at keeping in touch with many of these people, because I find it beneficial to always seek and consider a wide variety of viewpoints.  There is nothing worse than a politician who thinks he or she has all the answers.”