Message From Our Principal

  • Thank you for visiting the Robert J. Burch Elementary School website!  Burch is a wonderful place where we are committed to our vision of nurturing and developing a curious, capable, and compassionate learning community. We work each day to practice our values of being our personal best and kind by being respectful, responsible and safe.  

    It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the principal of this amazing Title I school.  I am lucky to have served the Burch community as principal and assistant principal since 2015. 

    Previously, I served as an assistant principal in Fayette County and as a teacher in both Fayette County and Knoxville, TN. I have taught Kindergarten through 12th grades and loved them all.  

    As an educational leader, my first priority will always be what is best for children, followed closely by support for our teachers, and then families.  This starts by maintaining a safe, welcoming, and respectful climate that is evident as soon as you enter our doors.  We strive to engage, challenge, support, and celebrate our students, staff, and families.  We work to build relationships and foster a culture of high expectations and support for our entire learning community because we know we are most impactful when we work together.

    At Burch, we help our scholars grow as curious, capable, and compassionate citizens by supporting the whole child.  Throughout our campus you’ll find students and adults building relationships, making connections between content and the real world, serving others, contemplating, collaborating, and problem solving in our classrooms, garden, and the community.  Our Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) provides a framework to incorporate essential components of student support, through a data-driven, team approach to decision making, to support students in their learning process.  Our student supports include a Gifted Program, Early Intervention Program (EIP), English Speakers of Other Languages, Exceptional Children’s Services, small group counseling, Title 1 and many other supports.  Special area teachers (art, music, physical education, technology) lead our students in extended STEAM units designed to promote creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and communication.  This year, we are excited to embark on a journey as a Leader In Me school.  This framework will support PBIS, as well as our vision and mission and have a positive impact on our students, staff, families, and ultimately, student achievement.   

    Burch is blessed to have the support of families, friends, businesses, churches and community organizations who log over 1300 volunteer hours in service to our school each year.  On any given day, you’ll find volunteers greeting students, opening car doors, selling ice cream, working with students, helping in the cafe, sponsoring clubs, assisting with the garden and STEAM, organizing materials, and more.  Our supporters have donated emergency lanterns, sponsored our Bare Tracks 5K, built gardens, delivered goodies for our staff, donated STEAM materials, and more.  

    All parents and staff are members of the Burch Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).  The Burch PTO works tirelessly to support both the academic and fun sides of our school and they offer numerous opportunities for you to get involved and give back to our school.  If you have not signed up to volunteer, please contact our PTO via Facebook (Burch Elementary PTO), the PTO web page, or our front office.  Imagine the positive impact on our building if all families committed to giving just 5 hours of volunteer time to our school each year!

    I believe that Burch is the very best school because of our awesome students and parents, supportive community partners, and our dedicated, intelligent and tenacious staff that engages, challenges, and supports all students to learn at high levels.  The Burch staff takes very seriously the responsibility for having our students ready to go across the road to Flat Rock Middle School.  We know that if they leave Burch with a love of learning, mastery of the academic standards, and a commitment to making life better for others, they will experience success as their educational journey continues!

    Thank you for sharing your children and partnering with us to build a curious, capable, and compassionate learning community for all!


    Lisa Howe, Principal