2019 Teacher of the Year:
Chris Burke is a native of Dubuque, Iowa, where he currently resides with his wife, Betsy, and son, Max. A graduate of Wahlert High School, Burke went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Administration from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota and a Master of Arts in Administration from the University of Northern Iowa. Burke is currently in his 12th year of teaching 8th grade mathematics at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School. The son of a 1st grade teacher, Burke had the opportunity of immersing himself in school culture as his mother made a point of modeling for him, from an early age, what it means to be a devoted and caring professional. Through years of close interaction with his mother and with the guidance of teachers he will never forget, a seed was planted in the back of Burke’s mind that teaching is not merely a profession, rather a calling. While this calling was not initially clear, in due time, Burke began to realize that education offers teachers the opportunity to be a champion for all students, to stand in their corner when they might otherwise feel alone. Burke shares a theme that defines the culture of positive relationships. Whether student to student, teacher to student, or teacher to teacher, these relationships are what drive learning every day. Currently, Burke serves as a mathematics content leader for his building and district while also coaching boys cross country at Hempstead High School and girls track at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School.