City Schools Welcome New Superintendent

Erin Kiple, Head Staff Writer

The Burlington City Public School District has appointed a new Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John Russell. Dr. Russell began his new position at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Dr. Russell, a longtime member of the Burlington City community, has been a part of the staff for 21 years. During his time here, he has held many different teaching positions and leadership roles that include being a student teacher, a teacher of both math, as well as social studies. Dr. Russell was also the Social Studies Department Chair, as well as the English Language Arts/World Language/Social Studies Supervisor. Dr. Russell’s most current position, prior to taking on the role of Superintendent was as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

Though the pandemic has clearly made his job quite hectic, Dr. Russell still took time to reflect on some wonderful memories he has made during his time here in Burlington City.

“I think my best memories always center back to my time with the kids in the classroom,” Dr. Russell said, “the inside jokes we had and pranks like when my US I class turned my entire classroom around for the day or the fun activities like a Historical Survivor. I just had so much fun teaching.”

Dr. Russell also looks back fondly on his time working with staff, as well as community members, when preparing for and participating in “Family Fun Night,” an event whose proceeds are donated to Make-A-Wish New Jersey.

“In more recent times, I’ve really enjoyed our ‘Family Fun Night’ series. I think it’s awesome when a school community can come together, celebrate and have fun, and help others that are less fortunate. Plus, where else can I dress up like Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker without getting laughed at (too badly)?”

Dr. Russell has also won and been nominated for countless awards throughout the years including “Burlington County Teacher of the Year,” “New Jersey Council for the Humanities Teacher of the Year,” and a number of other specialized educational awards.

Even with all of those accomplishments under his belt, it is clear that his focus is not on the past, but on the future.

“I’m looking forward to helping continue the tradition of excellence that is our school district,” Dr. Russell said. “I’ve worked in this district for a long time, and have personally experienced its tremendous growth over the years. I’m excited to lead us into the next phase of that. We’re going to focus on pathways to college and careers, and focus on producing active citizens who will be the leaders of the future.”

Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we all look at learning in the Burlington City High School community. When asked, Dr. Russell bestowed some wisdom from his many years of teaching on to our students and school community.

“Life is all about perseverance”, Dr. Russell said. “From day one, we will experience triumphs and setbacks. The key is to continue to always move forward and try to grow. When you try to grow, you learn the most.”

So far we have done our best to grow in these troubling times for all and continue to learn and do the best that we can!

Congratulations Dr. John Russell! The Burlington City community wishes you good luck in your new position!