GLASGOW — Kathy Burris was recently named as elementary director of instruction for Barren County Schools.
She previously served as BCS teacher consultant for programs and has spent her entire career within the Barren County school district, working at the elementary level for 20 years. Burris served as a classroom teacher, special education teacher and a lead teacher.
“I’m most excited to get to work with all of the principals and teachers and other directors in the district,” Burris told the Glasgow Daily Times. “Anything that we can do to improve student outcomes and help students realize their potential is what I look forward to most.”
Burris graduated from Western Kentucky University with bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and special education. She then received her master’s degree in counseling from WKU, her Rank I in elementary education from Indiana Wesleyan University and her Director of Special Education endorsement from the University of the Cumberlands.
“For me, the vision is to continue to provide that layer of support to principals,” Burris said. “We all know that teachers do what they can to get the best that they can from students. Principals do what they can to support teachers.
“My vision of the instructional department is to do what we can to support those principals and teachers to ultimately help with student achievement.”
Burris said she wants to work on some long-term goals “that are really going to get the teachers the support that they need — whether it’s professional development, modeling lessons, whatever it is that they need.”
“I want to keep those communication lines open and be there for those teachers and those principals,” she said. “The first thing I’m going to do when school starts is have a conversation with each individual principal. My goal is to have a conversation with each teacher. What can we do for you? How can we help you improve?
“So I really want to get back to the basics of communication and support.”
BCS Superintendent Bo Matthews stated in the press release that there were several qualified candidates who expressed interest in this position.
“It was clear, after the process concluded, that Kathy Burris was the one to lead the district in this capacity,” Matthews said.
Burris replaces Brian Clifford who left the position, which he held since 2016, to pursue other opportunities.
Clifford did a great job incorporating visible learning strategies, Burris told the Daily Times.
“I think those are very important,” she said. “We need to continue those.”
BCS Assistant Superintendent Cortni Crews said in the press release that the best educational leaders are “the ones that never forget what it is like to be a teacher, and that's Kathy Burris.”
Burris stated in the press release that she is “humbled and honored to have been selected to lead curriculum and instruction for the elementary schools in Barren County.”
“I look forward to working with all administrators, faculty, and staff in supporting the students of Barren County,” she said, adding that she plans to approach this position with innovative thinking that “will both expand existing programs and create new initiatives that lead students to success.”