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.
“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.
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.
“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 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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