Member Spotlight from November 2, 2017
As a high school teacher of AP economics, accounting and finance, business and marketing courses, and software applications, Todd Burke was surprised when a fellow teacher suggested he consider school business administration.
“It was a very bold and out-of-the-norm suggestion,” Todd says. “Most school administrators work down the education administration career pathway, but the idea sparked my interest.” After learning about school business administration through various opportunities, Todd eventually became the director of accounting with a large urban school district. Since 2006, he has served as the business administrator for Beaver County School District in Beaver, Utah. This rural district serves about 1,540 students in five schools.
When he accepted the position, Beaver County was the only Utah school district with a negative general fund balance and was under monitoring oversight by the Utah State Board of Education and State Attorney General’s office. Since then, however, the district has worked toward consistent and financially sound practices with improved bond credit ratings and solvency—including general obligation bond, school construction, and 10-year capital improvement planning processes.
Todd is proud that Beaver County School District is the only rural school district in Utah that consistently maintains ASBO standards of excellence in both the MBA and COE programs. “We feel and believe in a deep sense of responsibility and accountability to our people,” Todd says. “Transparency and communication with our public mean a lot in Utah, and particularly in Beaver County. ASBO standards of excellence have been a primary contributor to our progress.”
Todd began serving others from a very young age, having earned his Eagle Scout rank at age 15. He also served in both Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm with the United States Air Force Security Police. As the oldest of six children, Todd went on to father five kids of his own, and he’s proud to say that all of them, by their own choice, appear to be headed toward careers in elementary, English and language arts, and music teaching careers.
“If I had one wish for all school business officials,” Todd says, “it would be this: I hope we all get to know and believe that we work in the best profession ever—public education. School business officials can make a big difference in the individual life of each of our kids. I know it, and I love it! Our kids deserve our best effort every day.