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January 29, 2010

Burton ending 16-year career with Rockwall ISD

By Jim Hardin

Herald-Banner Staff

Dr. Gene Burton is stepping down after serving the Rockwall Independent School District for 16 years, the last nine as superintendent.

Burton’s resignation was approved Monday night during a regularly scheduled meeting of the school district’s board of trustees. He will continue to serve until June.

“It’s been one of the greatest privileges of my life to serve this community,” Burton said during an emotional speech after the board accepted his resignation.

Burton expressed thanks to teachers, administrators, staff members, students, parents, community members and board members.

“I couldn’t have asked for more dedicated, committed and supportive board members to serve with,“ he said. “I have especially been blessed to work with board members who have embraced me with their trust, their confidence, their leadership and most importantly, their friendship. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me personally and professionally.”

He ended his speech on a light note.

“We have a lot of school left between now and June,” Burton said. “I reminded our leadership team today that I’m still calling the shots.”

In a school district news release, Burton said, “The staff, the parents and the community as a whole have always shown me unyielding support and I am forever grateful for all those who have worked side by side with me to help provide meaningful learning opportunities for children.”

Burton, 56, began his Rockwall ISD career in July 1994 as the assistant superintendent of operations. He was promoted to deputy superintendent and then was named superintendent in May 2001.

Before coming to Rockwall, he was a teacher/coach and principal in the Italy Independent School District, a teacher/coach in the Waxahachie Independent School District and superintendent of the Frost and Giddings school districts.

Even though the school district accepted the resignation, this, in effect, is Burton’s retirement from education, according to Sheri Fowler, school district spokesperson. His annual salary is $325,000.

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