“I was surrounded by people who said what they meant and meant what they said. You knew where your boundaries were and that provided an element of love and protection.” That’s how Principal Rosalind Burt describes her grandmother, mother, coach, and the teachers who shaped her childhood… and it’s ultimately what influenced her approach to education.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher in fifth grade. My teacher was a 6’3” tall lady with bangs and a long ponytail that swished from side to side when she walked. She carried herself with authority and demanded a lot from her class. She was stern, but she was fair. I always had a sense that she loved her students, and I wanted to teach like her.” In high school, Mrs. Burt was given the opportunity to be part of a special program that developed students who wanted to go into education, and the trajectory of her career in education began.
Mrs. Burt served as an elementary teacher for seven years and has been in administration for about 15. She taught reading and was a writing coordinator for many years before becoming a lead teacher with the Edison schools. She opened a number of schools for Edison and then became an academy director. “One day I was reading a book about the experiences of a woman who opened high schools in New York. I couldn’t get over how terrible she said it was. I vowed I would never work in a high school, but the very next day I received a call to interview for a position I had never applied to – at a high school. I thought it was a joke! I ended up accepting the job, served as an assistant principal, and loved it. I later took a position as a middle school principal and have served in a variety of administrative roles since.”
Mrs. Burt believes a key to student success is building relationships with her teaching staff. “When it comes to teachers, I make sure I build strong relationships. I don’t just care about what happens with them in the building, I care about their health. No matter what is going on, I want them to know they can come and talk with me. I am big on developing others and bringing out the best in them. I consider myself a servant leader. I lead by example in the trenches. If I have to teach, I teach. If I have to sub, I sub. I’m ‘boots on the ground’ with my teachers and staff.”
“And I truly care about the kids. My number one goal is that they’re safe. Parents put their kids in our hands, and we appreciate them allowing us to do our job. I always tell parents that we are co-parenting. Your child becomes my child, too. We will make sure they’re safe and get the education you’re entrusting us to give them.”
Mrs. Burt enjoys spending her free time fishing with her husband and spending time with friends and family. She serves on the board of the Avengers Mentoring Group, who offers after-school and summer programming for kids in the Metro Detroit Area. She also has a 24-year-old daughter who graduated from Indiana Tech University on a track and field scholarship.
Meet Rosalind Burt: Principal at Center Line Preparatory Academy
Published: Mar 16, 2020Amber Brandt