News - Highland News Leader - Highland NL Lifestyle

Highland, Illinois

Wednesday, Sep. 09, 2009

Former Highland Superintendent Burgett pens another book for educators

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Former Highland School District Superintendent Jim Burgett has authored a new book aimed at helping educators balance best practices with legal requirements.

“This book was written for administrators, board members, teachers, and anyone working in the schools,” Burgett said.

The book, “Finding Middle Ground in K-12 Education,” was co-authored it with Brian D. Schwartz, legal counsel and associate director of the Illinois Principals Association.



NEW BOOK — Former Highland School District Superintendent Jim Burgett has authored a new book, ‘Finding Middle Ground in K-12 Education’ that is aimed at helping educators balance best practices with legal requirements. Above is the front cover.


“Brian’s practical and easy-to-read explanations of the law are one-half of the equation. I then try to offer some ideas on best practices when it comes to applying the law to real-life situations,” Burgett said. “The book contains 18 reality-based case studies in which Brian and I both banter back and forth about what you need to know, and how to use it successfully. We have tried to insert some humor when appropriate and some logic — when possible.”

“Finding Middle Ground in K-12 Education” is the latest in a series of four books in which Burgett has lent his expertise to aid educators. His last book, “Teachers Change Lives 24/7,” which has been very successful nationwide and has required multiple printings, was written for specifically for teachers and offered more than 150 ideas that work in the classroom. Burgett co-authored his first two books with Dr. Max McGee, former State Superintendent of Illinois and now president of the Illinois Math and Science Academy, and Dr. Jim Rosborg, a fellow Superintendent of the Year in Illinois and former superintendent at Belleville School District 118. Rosborg is now graduate director at McKendree University.

“The titles of our first books were ‘What Every Superintendent and Principal Needs to Know’ and the ‘The Perfect School.’ Both are used widely throughout the United States as resource and textbooks for educational administration. ‘What Every Superintendent and Principal Needs to Know’ has been recently released in an updated second edition format,” Burgett said.

Burgett and Schwartz will officially debut their new book at a formal signing in October at the Illinois Principals Association Annual Conference in Peoria.

Burgett is a veteran educator, nationally recognized education speaker, and consultant. He was named the Illinois Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators and Administrator of the Year by the Illinois Association for Educational Office Professionals. Burgett has received numerous honors and recognition for his leadership and skills as a motivator. He serves on many boards for the State of Illinois, various professional organizations, the Editorial Board for an educational publisher, and several community organizations.

He is the recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Illinois State Board of Education, was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and was a finalist for Teacher of the Year in Illinois.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in education, with a minor in chemistry, at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He earned his master’s and CAS degrees at Northern Illinois University and has continued his educational training. He currently writes and presents administrative academies for several states.

Education has been the cornerstone of his career. He has been a teacher of grades five through 12 and a principal of elementary, middle school and high school. During his 38-year tenure, Burgett has served as the superintendent of the Elizabeth Community Unit School District, the River Ridge Community Unit School District and the Highland Community Unit School District. He retired from the Blue-Ribbon Highland District in 2004.