teacher brings decades of
experience to Charter School
to The Red Rock Review
Charter School students and staff are so happy with the school
and its new, custom-built campus on Kachina Drive that there has
been very little turnover recently. All of the teaching staff
in grades one through six are returning next year. As for middle
school (grades seven and eight), students and staff are thrilled
to be welcoming a new head teacher for that age group, Joette
Burke comes to the
school with a dynamic combination of enthusiasm, creativity, and
36 years of experience. Although she taught grades ranging from
fourth through 12th during her 25-year teaching career, she particularly
enjoys middle school. The range of subjects she has taught includes
honors English, gifted science, physical education, jazz dance,
and the full Upper Elementary Montessori curriculum. In addition
to teaching, Burke has served as principal and assistant principal
at private and public schools in Phoenix and Dallas, Texas.
At national and regional educators’ conferences, Burke
has received high ratings for her presentations on subjects such
as how to develop a Montessori middle school, classroom management,
and how to plan and implement effective overnight field trips.
She also co-authored a book on how to effectively teach creative
writing. During her tenure as assistant principal at Harry Stone
Montessori Academy in Dallas, she was in charge of training other
teachers on Montessori philosophy.
Burke holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health,
Physical Education, and Recreation from Texas Woman’s University,
a Master of Science degree in educational administration from
Nova University in Florida, and she participated in Gifted/Talented
education training programs at Baylor University in Texas. She
has a Montessori teaching certification from the American Montessori
Society for ages six to 12, and is Arizona state-certified to
teach grades seven through 12.
Burke looks forward to creating a model Montessori Middle
School at Sedona Charter School, and implementing the philosophy
of education she has developed over the years.
“My role in the classroom is subtle; it is multi-faceted,
and my presence is widely felt,” said Burke. “I aid in the development
of character and simultaneously ensure that the child’s thirst
for knowledge and passion for learning does not fade. I maintain
an environment that is not only alive with intellectual curiosity,
but also clean and orderly; one that permits concentration.
“I am impartial and reach out to find points of empathy
with all of my students. I encourage all of my students and find
ways to provide equal attention with positive language and a sense
of personal responsibility. When I show my students that I care
about them, they return my interest with interest. I teach by
example; I am intent upon showing rather than just telling. This
enhances academic recall and deepens the understanding of real
You can see why those folks are excited.
She continued, “I hope and expect that the student would
be able to perfect himself through his own powers and go forward
guided by that inner force, which distinguishes him as an individual,
free to make independent discoveries and to become self-directed.”
For more information on Sedona Charter School’s tuition-free
Montessori program for students in grades K through 8, contact
the school office at 204-6464 or visit its Web site (www.sedonacharterschool.com).