Burchett removed from Chelsea Center

Julie Burchett would not be returning as the Chelsea Center coordinator next year as of Thursday, March 14.

Twenty-nine students, alumni, parents and community met at the Edge of Webster to protest outside a Board of Education Meeting Evaluation, a closed meeting. Photo by Ethan Weihl

“It was a shock…a total surprise,” Burchett said.

Burchett said her contract ends at the end of the year, so she will not be a part of organizing any part of the summer experiential learning program, according to Burchett.

Burchett will still finish organizing Sophomore Service Day.

Burchett has been the Chelsea Center coordinator since its conception in the summer of 2010.

 

Despite the change, Irvin said he is committed to keeping the experiential learning center.

Burchett said she was told in December that she would be Chelsea Center coordinator, social studies teacher and no longer be the Statesmen Center coordinator, next year. Burchett said she was fine with this change because it would give her a chance to expand the Chelsea Center.

On Feb. 2, Webster Groves-Shrewsbury-Rock Hill Chamber of Commerce awarded Heart of Gold Award to Burchett. WGSD’s twitter congratulated Burchett for her award.

In 2013, Burchett received national accolades, winning the Educator of the Year Award from Peabody Energy Leaders in Education.

After learning of Burchett’s change in position, 32 students and alumni formed the Bring Back Burchett committee.

Five members of the committee met with Irvin and superintendent John Simpson, separately, on Monday, March 25.

After the meetings, Bring Back Burchett committee said they will organize more “student action” if Burchett isn’t reinstated by Thursday, March 28.

A majority of the committee’s organization is through a Facebook page. The page has 147 likes as of Wednesday, March 27.

Burchett said, “It makes me want to cry sometimes. I’m just so appreciative of their support…more than they know.”

Another committee member senior Tyler Benbow said, she “understands and is always there to support students.”

Burchett said she has stayed off of social media and her email since the learning of this change.

Personnel records are protected under the sunshine law excluding, “names, positions, salaries and lengths of service of officers.”

Job postings for “Chelsea Detrick Experiential Learning Center Coordinator” and “Alternative Education Coordinator” were posted on March 15, and closed on March 26, on the school district website. The superintendent’s office administrates job postings.

Burchett also teaches one section of A.P. U.S. History.

The Board of Education does not have approval over job openings and changes in position when the position doesn’t require a new certification and happens within a school.

Cole Schnell – Editor-in-chief

This is Cole Schnell’s third year on ECHO staff.  Last year, he was the junior editor, advertising/business manager his sophomore year, and he made several contributions while taking journalism class his freshman year.


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