Burns shares his hopes and plans for the St. Clair County school system | The St. Clair Times

Justin Burns has taken on the new role of Superintendent of St. Clair County Schools and has already begun to connect with surrounding communities in preparation for the upcoming school year. Despite the new position, Burns has already been connected to the community for quite some time.

Burns began his education career in St. Clair County in 2005 with Ragland before moving on to teach at Odenville Middle School beginning in 2008 and remained there for four years.

“At both schools, I coached multiple sports,” Burns said. “At Odenville Middle School, my senior year there, I was raised as an acting vice-principal.”

After his teaching career at Ragland and Odenville, Burns became vice principal at Moody Junior High in 2012 and held that position until 2015.

From there, Burns became assistant principal at Leeds Middle School for a year before accepting the position of principal at Leeds Elementary, which would be the last career move before becoming superintendent of St. Clair County.

“I strongly believe that God makes things happen without you realizing it,” Burns said. “When I graduated from UAB in 2005, I just knew I wanted to be a teacher and I couldn’t wait to get started, and my first opportunity was at Ragland. I didn’t really know Ragland at the time, but once given the opportunity to teach at Ragland, I quickly fell in love with this community.

According to Burns, he didn’t expect what would come out of his career starting at Ragland.

“I didn’t really understand that it would be part of my bigger picture,” Burns said. “I went from there to Odenville Middle School because my wife and I lived in Margaret and we had just had our first son, and it was closer to home and it was really economically and practically better for my family because we were closer to home and less travel time. It was really where I needed to be at the time.

Burns said all of this, unbeknownst to him, was part of his bigger picture.

“I know now that spending time in Ragland and spending time in Odenville was a big part of who I am today because I got to get to know those communities, those children and the families that I worked with. and served. I really made a lot of connections that I still have today.

According to Burns, he spent a lot of time in three different communities in the county, and they all led him to his current position.

“They’re all unique, and they provide new opportunities to meet people and be part of those communities, to see how they operate, to see how people perceive their schools,” Burns said. “I look back on my 17 years of schooling, and God laid them all out before me without me even understanding that this was going to be part of my journey to become superintendent of St. Clair County.”

According to Burns, he feels his time spent in these communities prepared him for this opportunity.

Burns prepared for his new position by connecting with county communities he didn’t know firsthand.

“I’ve already spent some time getting to know the people of Springville because it’s a community that I haven’t worked in, and Springville is a wonderful community that has a great vision for their children and for what they expect from their schools.”

Burns said he is currently visiting community schools and meeting with staff and community leaders to assess the needs of different communities. “I have a big picture view of how to make our kids successful, but at the same time I want to make sure it aligns with community visions.”

According to Burns, this first year as superintendent is about creating stability within the school system.

“I wish the stability of the administration was there and I wish the stability of the teachers was there,” Burns said. “I know we have a lot of problems at all levels. I’m not just talking about St. Clair County – I’m talking about education. There are teacher shortages, and I don’t want that to negatively affect St. Clair County because I would like to create some stability where teachers want to stay in St. Clair County, where they want to do part of their communities.

In addition to this, Burns is also working closely with the County Sheriff’s Department and other local law enforcement officials to create safe learning environments for all students following concerns from community members. about school safety.

Jeremy S. McLain