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“Burke is visionary, reflective and clearly communicates the important ‘why’ of providing all students the opportunity to learn and grow,” said Mark Wahlstrom, principal, DCCHS. “His experiences as a ‘Project Lead the Way’ biomedical science teacher, instructional leader and athletic coach helped shape his ideas about curriculum, instruction and assessment, and make a difference in his students’ lives.”

Burke discovered his passion for teaching through his two careers prior to becoming a teacher. “I worked in emergency medicine and offshore construction,” said Burke. “In both cases, I found myself teaching others. Through that experience I realized I wanted to be a teacher, which I love.” 

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Burke also makes an impact on students through his other roles. He is the head football and wrestling coach for Discovery Canyon Campus Middle School, the junior varsity wrestling coach at the high school, and advisor for Health Occupations Students of America and the Science National Honor Society.

“My philosophy of teaching has changed some over the past 20 years, but my core beliefs in what a teacher should be hasn’t,” Burke concluded. “Students learn best by doing, so we are hands-on as much as possible. I also know I teach more than science and it’s important for my students to walk out of class knowing what a true global citizen looks like and how to compete in a global workplace.”