Although she was named as the interim superintendent on March 1, Christine Burton became the official superintendent of the Millburn school district on July 1.
“It is an honor to be given this opportunity,” said Burton, when asked how she felt about being named to the position. “It is a fantastic district; to be given the opportunity to work here and be a vital part of the curriculum and instruction, and to work with the teachers and administrators, and to now lead the district – it is an honor, one I am very excited to be given.”
Burton started her career as a middle school teacher who primarily taught math, working in Hillsboro. She advanced through the ranks, becoming their mathematics specialist; eventually she became the director of the mathematics department in Montgomery Township’s school district. In 2010, she began her career in the Millburn school district, where she was the assistant superintendent. In March, she was named the interim superintendent, and on July 1 she was named the official superintendent. She has been working in the district for six years.
Burton says she believes that, even though Millburn places high expectations on students, and expects much from them both academically and in their extra-curriculars, students should be treated individually.
“One of the things I have been speaking a lot about is the way we as a district can improve on our high levels of rigor and expectation,” she said. “How can we go beyond the acquisition of skills and knowledge – how can we make our students innovative problem solvers; how can we teach them to solve real-world problems? Through curriculum and instructional practices, we will innovate, and we will inspire students to innovate. We want students to demonstrate their knowledge beyond pencil and paper tests. We want to build true twenty-first century learners who have active problem solving skills, using things they’ve learned in class.”
Burton has been open with parents about her plans for the district, and has kept them well-updated as to the goings-on of the school, even during the summer. On the home page of Millburn Township’s school website, it is easy to navigate to a page where she posts updates that detail important information, such as projects that are being worked on and other important information that students and parents need to know.
“We are always looking for ways to improve upon what we do,” said Burton, when asked what she would like to say to any parents who have students in the district. “I would like to tell them to be able to expect the best – of myself, of the teachers, and of the students. At the end of the day, we are addressing the needs of the kids. We also need to remember the important elements of meeting their needs as kids – it is important that we have rigorous programs and high expectation, but we need to meet their individualized needs. We have to remember that they are kids.”
More information about Millburn Township’s schools can be found at https://www.millburn.org/pages/Millburn_Township_PS.