Message From Our Principal

  • Thank you for visiting the Robert J. Burch Elementary School website!  Burch is a wonderful place where we practice being our personal best and being kind by being respectful, responsible and safe every single day!  It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the principal of this amazing Title I school. I believe that Burch is the very best school because of our awesome students and parents, supportive community partners, and because of a dedicated, intelligent and tenacious staff that believes all students can learn at high levels.

    This begins my 33rd year as a public school educator, and my first year serving as a principal. What an honor it is to be serving as the principal of Robert J. Burch Elementary. Previously, I served as an assistant principal in Fayette County for ten years and as a teacher in Fayette County and Knoxville, TN for 23 years. I have taught Kindergarten through 12th grades and have 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. I believe that both students and teachers deserve to learn and work in a safe and positive environment where they are welcomed, supported, challenged, encouraged and celebrated. I believe in building relationships with the school community and fostering a climate and culture of high expectations for everyone.  Burch is well known as a place where students and families love to be. As principal, I will work hard to maintain this safe, warm and welcoming culture that is evident  as soon as you enter through our front doors.

    This year our staff and students will continue our adventure in  leadership and character utilizing “The Voyage” curriculum developed by our partner, ADDO.  The teachers and students at Burch have played a huge part in the development of this curriculum offering feedback and ideas to the creators.  This year, we will focus on the attributes of responsibility, honesty, humility, generosity, cooperation, perseverance, kindness and courage. We continue to be grateful for our partnership with ADDO and their support of our school. “The Voyage” with ADDO supports our school values and helps students learn to be their personal best and kind.  

    Burch is blessed to have the support of numerous businesses, churches and community organizations. What is most impressive is the group of community members who support us, even without having children or grandchildren in our school!  Because of these supporters, we not only have a school garden where children engage in STEAM activities, but our families also have access to community gardens to grow their own fruits and vegetables! One partner provides professional learning funds for our teachers, additional technology for our students, and tools and supplies that enhance student activities.  Another supports our teachers with a gift basket of goodies each month, and offers the use of their parking lot and facilities whenever we need additional space. One partner donated emergency lanterns while another partner volunteers in our Homework House supporting student learning. Another example of school support of a RJBES school partner is providing volunteers three days a week to work in our cafe, and on any given day, you may find the mayor of Tyrone or members of his team at Burch. Please make yourself familiar with our partners on the P.I.E. tab of our home page and take the time to support and appreciate them whenever you can. Burch is fortunate to have partners who realize the importance of investing in children and supporting local schools.

    Our volunteer goal for the last few years has been to clock 1000 volunteer hours for our school.  While this goal hasn’t happened yet, I believe this will be the year for us to see this occur. Our PTO works tirelessly to support both the academic and fun sides of our school.  Burch PTO offers numerous opportunities for you to give back to our school. If you have not signed up to volunteer somewhere, please contact our PTO via Facebook (Burch Elementary PTO), the PTO web page or our front office.  How wonderful it would be if all families committed to giving 5 hours of volunteer time to our school! Imagine the impact this could have in our building!

    Beyond Burch, I have a passion for JENKINS ROAD.  I take very personally the responsibility for having our students ready to go across the road to Flat Rock Middle School.  If they leave here having mastered the academic standards, and with a true love of learning, I know they will experience success as their educational journey continues!

    I’m looking forward to spending the school year learning and growing with the Burch community!

    Follow us on Twitter: @rjburches, #burchbears, #jenkinsroad


     Lisa Howe