By ACS Supt. David Burleson
Over the last 35 years I have been one of the most fortunate people alive. I have been given the opportunity to work with wonderful people and live in the greatest place in the world. There is no doubt that Avery County is blessed with some of the finest educators, students, parents and citizens than any place in our country.
Over the last six years I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish together for children in Avery County. Our test scores have risen as the number of families on free and reduced lunch has also risen. Our students with disabilities and those who speak English as a second language along with our most gifted students have made excellent progress. Our students, as a whole, have continued to excel in academics, the arts, and athletics and in also giving back to our community. Our school system has become a model in drop-out prevention strategies, alternative suspension programs, pre-school programs, and safety and crisis programs for students, staff and the community. We have much to be proud of because of the wonderful students, excellent staff, and supportive parents and community.
I want to personally thank our entire community for what you have done for me and my family, the support we have had, the prayers we felt, and the commitment you have made to children over the last six years. I truly believe that when one door closes that another opens for me and my family and this is the case. At this time in my life and after much prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire on June 30, 2017. For some time, I believe the Lord has been leading me to full time Christian ministry. That opportunity has been provided to me as the Executive Director of Burke United Christian Ministries, a position I will begin on July 1, 2017.
I want to thank everyone in our community for the lessons you have taught me over the last six years, and for the opportunities to work with you to help our students in Avery County. Those lessons I learned and experiences we shared will be tremendous assets as I move to another phase in my life. Please know that you remain in my prayers, and thoughts as I hope we remain in yours. Never forget what we have been able to do together and remember the foundation that has already been laid. I especially want to thank the Avery Board of Education for providing me the opportunity to “come home” to finish out my career.
I encourage you to do all possible to focus on the needs of our students; to work collaboratively to help each student be successful and to continue to do all possible to move Avery County forward. We still have several months together to make a difference for our students.
Please know I wish you the very best and I look forward to hearing of your many future successes.