By Tamas Mondovics

After some well-organized preparation and a month-long fundraising campaign, Bloomingdale High School Principal Sue Burkett celebrated her victory as the 56th Brandon Honorary Mayor.

To win the honor of representing her community for a one-year term, from July 4, through July 3, Burkett defeated her rival, local journalist Linda Chion Kenney by raising $41,601.57 for local charities supporting children. Honorary Mayor Burkett replaced former Honorary Mayor Chuck Burgess and also took her rightful place as a member of The Community Roundtable board.

Burkett received both her Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of South Florida and began teaching Exceptional Education Students at Plant City and Durant High Schools. She served as the Assistant Principal at Riverview High School in 2002.

In 2005, Burkett became the Assistant Principal for Curriculum at Bloomingdale High School followed by her appointment as Principal of Burns Middle School in 2009 before returning to Bloomingdale as the Principal in 2013.

Explaining the reason for her desire to take part in the long standing Brandon tradition she wrote, “When the students look to organize philanthropic projects, I always ask them what can we do in our own community to make it a better place to live and prosper? What a better way to practice what I preach than to get involved with our very own long standing community event and include the students in our efforts.”

Burkett’s fundraising campaign focused on three Brandon area charities for children: Bloomingdale High School Academic Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay and Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.

The Community Roundtable originated the race for the title of Honorary Mayor of Brandon in 1959.  The contest, which begins June 1, and concludes at 8 a.m., the morning of Brandon’s Fourth of July Parade, was designed to raise funds for charities in the Brandon community.  

Each candidate chooses up to three charities as beneficiaries and the candidate who raises the most dollars (votes) in the 33 day period is then named the Honorary Mayor of Brandon. Visit

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