Haysville Learning Center named for Newman professor John Burke

Jul 28, 2021
Dr. John Burke holds a pair of giant scissors at the building dedication ceremony.

In recognition of his 18 years as superintendent of Haysville Unified School District 261, the district’s Learning Center was recently renamed the Dr. John Burke Learning Center. The facility hosts professional development activities for teachers and staff members in the district. A dedication ceremony was held in June.  

Burke, who worked as a superintendent for a total of 36 years and retired in July, was surprised when he learned of the school district’s decision to name a building after him.

Burke (right) speaks at the dedication ceremony held in June.
John Burke (right) speaks at the dedication ceremony held in June.

“I was stunned,” he recalls. “I had no idea that that was in the works.”

The Haysville Public Schools Facebook page shared a recognition statement about Burke’s efforts.

We appreciate the hard work and dedication Dr. Burke has shown to the district over his 18 years of service. The board agreed that there couldn’t be a more fitting tribute to his legacy than to name the center after its creator. Thank you, Dr. Burke!”

Haysville Public Schools

Burke says his time in the Haysville School District was “a fantastic journey,” adding that its mission statement is “the relentless pursuit of excellence, and that’s what we’ve done every single day.”

Ultimately, the Dr. John Burke Learning Center is a testament to Burke’s commitment to education.

Burke (far right) interacts with colleagues inside the Dr. John Burke Learning Center.
Burke (far right) interacts with colleagues inside the Dr. John Burke Learning Center. (Photo courtesy of Haysville Public Schools)

“One of the things that I’m most proud of is as a superintendent, if you have a legacy, I don’t think there can be a better one than learning,” he says. “So having the Learning Center named after me means that my legacy is about learning.”

Continuing an educational journey

Although Burke retired from his superintendent role, he is continuing in the education field as an assistant professor of education at Newman University – a position he absolutely loves.

“When I come home from teaching, my wife says, ‘You’re never happier than after the classes that you teach for Newman,’” Burke says. “It’s my favorite thing. I want to continue as long as they’ll let me, as long as I can make a positive contribution. It’s the best part of my day.”

Burke (second from left) stands with friends in front of the Dr. John Burke Learning Center sign. (Photo courtesy of Haysville Public Schools)
Burke (second from left) stands with friends in front of the Dr. John Burke Learning Center sign. (Photo courtesy of Haysville Public Schools)

Burke also serves as a part-time ambassador for ATG Sports, a synthetic turf and sports stadium contractor in Andover, Kansas. His other plans for retirement include traveling with his wife and attending a game at every NFL stadium across the nation.  

Regardless of where retirement takes him, Burke looks forward to continuing the fulfilling task of teaching future educators. He notes that just this past year, six of his former students became superintendents.

“What I feel like I’m doing is preparing the next generation of principals and superintendents for the state of Kansas.”

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