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Burgess named Maumelle Middle School principal | Schools

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Burgess named Maumelle Middle School principal
Burgess named Maumelle Middle School principal

PCSSD Names Two New Middle School Principals


The Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) has named two new middle school principals. Lourdes Goodnight will take the helm of Jacksonville Middle School and Ryan Burgess will oversee the Maumelle Middle School for the 2013-2014 school year. They will begin their duties July 1, 2013.


Goodnight was most recently the assistant principal of Jacksonville High School, where she was credited for implementing and coordinating the successful freshman academy.


Goodnight has also served PCSSD as the mathematics instructional facilitator at Maumelle Middle School, responsible for math curriculum at the classroom, school and district level, and as a mathematics intervention coach at Mills University Studies High School, where she focused on the teaching and learning of mathematical education.  She began her career in education as a high school math teacher in Colorado Springs, Colo., and worked as a math teacher and department chairman for Sheridan High School in Sheridan, Ark.


She has taught pre-college courses at the University of Colorado and, from 1979 to 1983, was part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. There, she served as an engineering officer battalion training officer, as a brigade assistant operations officer and as a brigade assistant intelligence officer, where she was directed the construction administration and budget management for the Grafenwor, Germany, infantry range upgrades for the Corps.


Goodnight said she is eager to implement her strategies for Jacksonville Middle School, which include a focus on the student environment and curriculum. “Student environment is about helping our students set a dream for college and career readiness before they get to high school,” she said.


“We will carry the message ‘Excellence without Excuse’ that we use at Jacksonville High School to the middle school,” she said. “It will be about creating a vision for excellence.”


She also plans to bring her expertise in curriculum to her new position. “The Common Core Standards, now in their second year, are about project-based learning and how we bring to life learning for this new generation of students,” she said. “That will be one of our areas of focus.”


PCSSD Superintendent Jerry Guess called Goodnight a “top-notch administrator with a background in curriculum who can take Jacksonville Middle to the next level.”


Goodnight said she plans to hold a meet-and-greet to introduce herself to parents and community stakeholders.


Burgess , who will lead Maumelle Middle School, was most recently an assistant principal at J.A. Fair High School in the Little Rock School District. He has served as director of education for the Arkansas Division of Youth Services in Little Rock and as a principal with the Alexander Youth Services Center in Alexander, Ark. He began his career as a secondary social studies teacher at Dunbar Middle School in the Little Rock School District, where he also was assistant principal.


Burgess, who is certified as a secondary principal and district administrator, has his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and his master’s degree in educational leadership/supervision from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


Guess called Burgess “an excellent fit” for the school. Leading a secondary school of this size involves motivating staff, providing exceptional educational opportunities and support for students and ensuring student safety and discipline is a priority. Mr. Burgess has experience in all three areas,” Guess said.


Burgess said he is excited to take the reins at the school, which serves students from sixth to eighth grade. “I plan to be inclusive of all stakeholders to ensure their ideas are heard and so they know they know they are appreciated in the decision-making,” he said.


“Communication with our parent and community partners is critical to the success of any school,” he added. To that end, Burgess said he is planning a summer meeting to introduce himself and visit with community stakeholders.