Sue Burkett has been promoted to Hillsborough County Public Schools’ chief of schools. In her new role, she will oversee 173 traditional elementary, middle and high schools.
Burkett, who grew up in the Bronx and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of South Florida, is a former principal at Burns Middle School (2009-2013) and former principal at Bloomingdale High (2013-2020). Most recently, she was a regional superintendent for middle schools from July 2020-July 2021.
As chief of schools, Burkett will work in collaboration with schools and nine regional superintendents to identify, prepare, place and retain great principals and implement a strategic plan to accomplish the district’s mission and improve student achievement.
Although Burkett misses the daily interactions with students she had while principal, she relishes the additional responsibility and impact she can have on more students.
“Two years ago, I was responsible for one school, last year I was responsible for 17 schools and now I oversee 173 schools,” she said. “That’s a drastic change in responsibility and influence.”
A student-centered leader, she relies on the knowledge gained in her other roles in the district. “Remembering what it was like to be a teacher made me a better principal, and what will help in this new position is the perspective I gained as a principal,” she said.
School board member Melissa Snively is confident that Burkett will be an excellent chief of schools. “Her desire to help others, coupled with her servant’s heart, will allow her to continue improving student outcomes across the entire school district,” she said.
One of her goals is to improve student academic performance, which has been hindered because of COVID-19 and the long stretch of remote and hybrid learning and quarantines. She hopes to accomplish this by removing barriers to learning by listening to school leaders and being practical.
“I’m excited to use my vision, passion, experience and work ethic to impact not just one school at a time, but 173 schools,” said Burkett.
For more information about Hillsborough County Public Schools, visit www.hillsboroughschools.org.