Byrd Elementary gets a new principal

Published 10:11 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012

As the new principal of Byrd Elementary School, Burton has felt a sincere support of her arrival from her teachers as well as the surrounding community. -- Katie Wood

Selma resident Concetta Burton is the new principal of Byrd Elementary School, and is no stranger to the Selma City School system.

“I’ve been with the system for about 21 years,” Burton said.

During her 21 years in the system Burton has worked as a teacher at Payne Elementary School, a teacher at the School of Discovery, the assistant principal as well as head principal of Edgewood Elementary School and the director of the Early College program.

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“I really have a passion for the whole school thing,” she said with a smile. “I love working with the teachers. I love working with the parents. And I love working with the students.”

Being a principal provides Burton the opportunity to spend time, although not always an equal amount, with each of these groups.

One of the things she enjoys most about being the new principal of Byrd Elementary after spending the past four years with high school students in the Early College program is the feeling of coming back home.

“It’s really been refreshing for me,” Burton said. “This is what I like, being with elementary kids.”

Burton noted she feels she’s meant to be working with this age group. The students still really respect their authorities and the opportunity to mold these young kids is there, she said.

“I like dealing with elementary kids because it gives you a chance to be more nurturing,” Burton said. “And here I can kind of shape my students.”

The community and the teachers have been a source of great support, not only for the school but also to Burton’s arrival.

“I’ve had some sincere support (from the community),” she said. “I have plans to get with the Old Town society and work out some plans in terms of enhancing the school.”

Burton said that the teachers threw her a surprise luncheon during her first week of school as part of her welcoming package.

“Teachers do a lot and they really don’t get enough recognition,” Burton said. “It was just a confirmation to me, of their acceptance of me here.”

Burton’s plans for Byrd Elementary include bringing back some of their traditional festivities such as May Day and Fall Festival, and working on improving small procedures like carpool, she said.

She also plans to “improve parental involvement and establish a strong partnership with the community.”

Burton has high expectations for her students at Byrd Elementary and said her teachers are very professional.

“All I have to do is just join in with them. Coach them and makes sure that they accomplish their goals,” Burton said. “I love creating opportunities that will make the school experience a pleasant one.”