Burnette receives exemplary rating, Staff Pillar of Support to close out time as interim OPS superintendent

May 24, 2024 | 12:13 am

Updated May 24, 2024 | 8:02 am

Interim Superintendent Anita Burnette’s “exemplary” performance over the last year showed that Owensboro Public Schools didn’t pause the tradition of excellence the school system bases itself on. Instead, Board of Education members said the district was able to succeed and continue on that path of excellence. Due to her dedication, Brunette was presented with the Staff Pillar of Support award on Thursday.

Board Chair Dr. Jeremy Luckett remembers when he called Burnette in May 2023 to ask if she would put a pin in her retirement to return to the system after former superintendent Dr. Matthew Constant was terminated.

“There was a lot of uncertainty in myself, and she made me feel much calmer when she agreed to do it. I think that she’s had that effect on the entire district the whole year. She’d settle everyone’s nerves but also made sure that we didn’t just pause for a year and that we kept moving forward,” Luckett said.

Burnette served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and administrative mentor prior to accepting the call as interim superintendent.

When Burnette initially retired in 2015 as Owensboro High School’s principal, she said, it felt like leaving home. Since then, she has reentered the system a couple of times where needed. This time, she hopes to officially close her chapter in OPS administration.

“Thank you to the board for giving me the opportunity to return to the district that I’ve called home for so long. You placed your faith in me to help guide the district through some dark days, and it’s been a great year that I think we should all be proud of,” Burnette said.

As the crowd at the OPS board meeting stood to applaud her, Burnette smiled, but she knew it wasn’t a full goodbye to what she considers her second home.

“I want to say thank you to everyone for allowing me the opportunity to lead throughout this past year, and I am very excited to return to the sidelines and cheer on the district as it moves forward,” Burnette said.

When evaluated by the school board in November, Burnette scored an overall exemplary performance in four of the categories they reviewed.

With her interim term coming to an end, the board evaluated Burnette as an exemplary asset in all seven categories: strategic, instructional, cultural, human resource, managerial, collaborative, and influential leadership abilities.

“She truly has not just been here as a part-time superintendent. She’s really jumped in and led our district in a positive way,” board member Dr. Ashley Johnson said Thursday night.

Burnette’s overall summary is as follows:

Ms. Burnette is a rockstar. The OPS Board is eternally grateful that she put her life on hold for a year to come back and serve the district. She did not just serve as a figurehead either, she worked hard to advance the district. On behalf of all OPS students, staff, and Board, thank you, Ms. Burnette, for your exemplary year of service and self-sacrifice. We cannot thank you enough.

Burnette’s last day is today May 24 — after fulfilling her full year. Her successor, Dr. Wendy Duvall, will begin on Tuesday.

May 24, 2024 | 12:13 am

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