Principal Profile

Principal Profile

Noah Selvin and Katie Longnecker

Our new principal, Kevin Burr, has a lot to offer to our school. He grew up in a household where his mother was a journalism teacher, and he was the editor of the paper. Being a young man growing up around journalism he believed that he would pursue journalism, he even went to school for communications. His mother believed that she wasn’t being very honorable with his grades in class, until he had won a national editorial contest. He came to a realization when he started a family that journalism can’t pay the bills as well as teaching can. He put his communications degree to, what he thought, was a better use, and started teaching english, public speaking, and journalism. This lasted eight years before he decided to take a step up and do what he does best; lead.

You may have noticed some changes going on, whether it was in a syllabus or by word of mouth. That’s because students are now being encouraged to take charge of their own education instead of being told by teachers how they can do better. Principal Burr says that “We are building a wider portfolio of options for students, so that the ‘One Size Fits All’ is not our mentality”. For example; say that you are failing or are close to failing a class. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are all used to asking a teacher what they should do to bring up their grade, but with this new system, students have a conference with their teacher and inform them of the steps that they want and need to take to better themselves. So, Freshmen, consider yourselves lucky to be introduced to this new concept without breaking old habits and relying on teachers. “We want 21st century kids to be in charge of their 21st century lives”, Principal Burr says. This new “self help” technique is a breath of fresh air that 21st century students need to succeed in a 21st century world.

 

Back in 2016, when Principal Burr was the superintendent of a high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an incident occurred that would change his life forever. Although the experience was hindering and traumatic for quite a long time, he has since learned from it and is taking a more optimistic view of the whole thing. What had happened was that there was an employee in one of the schools who was being held at a very high standard, and unfortunately he was having a difficult time meeting those standards. However, the school board was willing to work with the gentleman and allow him to retire peacefully and without conflict. Of course, he had to at least get his last two cents in. According to the employee, another incident, which included racism, was happening around the time of his retirement. The thing was, Principal Burr had no idea about such an incident, but as soon as it was acknowledged, it only took him a total of about three days to both dismiss and demote the employees responsible for the incident. Although the headlines of articles say otherwise, Principal Burr was not dismissed over the race incident. Originally, he and the school district were to have a “mutual separation”, but the disgruntled employee from before was not satisfied with such an idea. Somehow, that employee made sure that board members were also dissatisfied with the separation. After another board meeting, which Principal Burr did not attend, they came to a decision to ultimately terminate him. “I went into that night thinking that they were going to come out with an approval of our mutual separation.” Principle Burr admits, but what he was met with was something completely out of the blue and shocking; he had been terminated from his position as Superintendent. Although it is a sensitive subject that he will have to live with for the rest of his life, Principal Burr has learned from it and accepts the consequences. People can learn from what he’s been through, and that going through tough situations can ultimately make you a stronger person in the long run.

 

As you can see, our principal is not some creature that crawled out from the depths of the Black Lagoon. He is a human with interests, background and a personality just like anyone else who walks this Earth. Walk up to him and start a conversation, because you just might like it. He’s a smart, kind, and charismatic guy. We all have parts of our past that we are proud of and parts that we could definitely live without. No matter what happens in your past, it is a part of you, whether you like it or not. Do not judge a book by its cover, and never judge a person by the first search on Google.