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Hello Parents of Burton Elementary School Students!
For those families who have children returning to BES and/or have children attending for the first time, welcome! The word on the street (not planted by me) is that Burton Elementary is quite the school...and I mean that in a very, very good way... As the new principal of BES, I want to take a moment to introduce myself and express gratitude for my new assignment in Madison School District #321.
In 1999, I was hired to teach 6th grade at Madison Middle School before transferring to Lincoln Elementary the following year where I taught 4th grade (3 years) and 3rd grade (2 years). Theater/drama was always an important part of my students’ learning experience, and we performed many plays, including Macbeth, Theseus and the Minotaur, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. As a class, we participated in Michael Ballam’s Opera by Children where the students wrote original operas including one called “Give Those Coconut Trees a Whack!”. (What a title!) Additionally, each October my students transformed scary-ish library books into short plays that were performed around Halloween in The Storyteller’s Haunted Mansion. I loved providing my students with “experiences” and was recognized for integrating theater in the classroom with a first place national award from Pizza Hut’s Book-It Program, a commendation from Governor Dirk Kempthorne, and an Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities Award from the Idaho Humanities Council. Needless to say, I loved (and love) teaching kids…
But, after 6 years of teaching, I transitioned to an administrative role at Lincoln where I served as principal for 4 years. Around 2009, our incredible superintendent, Dr. Geoffrey Thomas, informed me of my new assignment—principal of Madison Middle School. Administrating at MMS for the past 11 years has been one of the greatest highlights of my life, having worked with amazing teachers, students, and parents who helped me in my growth as a school principal. I loved serving them, but after 11 years in one school I could feel the winds of change growing stronger in my life, and when that wind altered my course, I was pleased that it landed me at the front doors of Burton Elementary.
I consider myself fortunate to return to an elementary assignment, especially one at Burton. I’ve been a Burton resident myself since 2006, and I’ve already timed my walk from home to work—35 minutes! Four of my children attended Burton Elementary, and several of their teachers are now teachers I’ll have the pleasure to serve. I’ve had the outstanding opportunity to meet or reacquaint myself with many of the Burton faculty, which only increases the feeling of fortune within me. These are professional, educated, creative, and loving teachers, paras, librarians, custodians, aides, administrative assistants, and an assistant principal who will be working with your children this year… The physical facilities are amazing, the well-stocked library—wow! I know that Principal LeFevre’s shoes are figuratively (and literally) “hard to fill”, but I, again, look forward to the opportunity and am grateful for the experiences I’ll have to meet and work with you and your children.
Now, just a couple of housekeeping items:
-Burton Elementary’s registration is scheduled for August 18th from 8 am to 2:30 pm. Registration information using PowerSchool is being sent home now and will provide information on how to register your child from home so that you may not even have to come to the school on the 18th.
-I know the school district has communicated information to you on how we’re preparing to handle kids in school with the COVID pandemic. In addition to the announcement of extra daily classroom sanitizations and heaps of supplies of hand sanitizer and wipes, I’ve been meeting with faculty to determine what more we can do at Burton Elementary to help everyone feel safe. Currently, we are finalizing a building schedule that will separate students by grade-level so that we can decrease the number of students on the playground and in the cafeteria at any given time. Teachers will be scheduling multiple handwashing times during the day and classroom supplies will be shared less than they have in the past. There are more preventative measures we are discussing, and just prior to registration I will send parents a Swift (formerly Connect-Ed) message, sharing with you the safety steps we will be taking at the school. Please standby for that info.
Again, I’m grateful to start my 22nd year in Madison School District at Burton Elementary and look forward to a wonderful, memorable school year. Have an enjoyable summer (what remains of it). I look forward to seeing the kids in a few weeks:)
Burton Elementary School