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School superintendent sworn in

By Staff | Jul 2, 2011

The new superintendent for the Lee County School District, Dr. Joseph Burke, was sworn into office Friday morning in front of a crowd of district employees and community members.
Burke, who was the superintendent of the Monroe County School District, was chosen to lead the Lee County School District in May following a six-month search for a new chief administrator. He was given a three-year contract with an annual salary of $185,000.
After Honorable John Carlin, Circuit Court judge, swore Burke in he said he was extremely excited about getting started.
“I am determined that I am coming to the best job in the state of Florida,” Burke said. “This is the best job.”
Burke told the board that he is going to build a team and have a wonderful time doing what the district needs to do in achieving a world class school system.
After the ceremony, a special school board meeting was held in which Burke talked about how pleased he was to see the school grades that were released on Thursday.
More than 90 percent of schools received an “A” or “B” grade for the 2010-2011 school year, which is a first in the district’s history.
Burke said the district has to thank teachers and administrators for the scores because they are at the front line.
“It is their hard work that gets those results,” he said.
Although he was happy with those results, Burke said there is room for improvement because they have to continue to push the limits. He said since the reading FCAT 2.0 was introduced it is going to raise challenges as the district moves forward.
“We have to look at the future and design a plan to continue to grow,” Burke said.
Before the special meeting concluded, every board member welcomed Burke aboard and shared that they are looking forward to working with him and moving the district forward.
Board Chairman Thomas Scott said they are tickled to have Burke come to the district.
“You will have our support,” he told Burke, even if they have to bump and scrape shoulders to get to that final agreement.
A reception was held for district employees and community members following the ceremony to give them the opportunity to meet Burke.
Kathleen Robinson, who is a school bus operator for the district and a member of Superintendent Search Citizens Committee, was in attendance Friday morning.
She said she thinks they all did an excellent job in selecting Burke as the superintendent.
She said she liked what she heard from Burke during the interview process and how he delivered the information.
“I was looking at his heart,” Robinson said. “I got a good feeling from him.”
She said she is excited about him starting as the superintendent for the district because they have the opportunity to start new.
“I don’t expect perfection,” Robinson said, adding that he will do the best he can.