The Perfect School

Everybody wants a perfect school, but what does that really mean?

That’s what three top award-winning educational leaders from Illinois asked each other, then dug into their areas of strength to answer. The result is their second book, The Perfect School, a no-nonsense look at perfect teachers, perfect staff, perfect parents, and perfect principals, plus a dozen chapters more!

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About Jim Burgett

Jim Burgett is a veteran educator, nationally recognized education speaker, and consultant. He was named the “Illinois Superintendent of the Year” by the American Association of School Administrators and "Administrator of the Year" by the Illinois Association for Educational Office Professionals. Burgett has received numerous honors and recognition for his leadership and skills as a motivator. Jim serves on many boards for the State of Illinois, various professional organizations, the Editorial Board for an educational publisher, and several community organizations.

He is the recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Illinois State Board of Education, was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and was a finalist for Teacher of the Year in Illinois.

After earning a B.S. degree in education, with a minor in chemistry, at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Jim earned his M.S. and C.A.S. degrees at Northern Illinois University. Jim has continued his educational training and currently writes and presents Administrative Academies for several states.

Education has been the cornerstone of his career. Jim has been a teacher of grades five through twelve and a principal of elementary, middle school, and high school. During his 38-year tenure, Jim has served as the Superintendent of the Elizabeth Community Unit School District, the River Ridge Community Unit School District, and the Highland Community Unit School District, all in Illinois. Jim retired from the Blue-Ribbon Highland District in 2004.

He has frequently published in professional journals, speaks across the country to a variety of organizations, and has keynoted most major educational conferences in Illinois.

Jim Burgett is known for his practical leadership. He consults many districts, leads strategic planning sessions, and has been a leader in such areas as school construction, administrative standards, and effective teaching strategies.

Jim Burgett's wife, Barbara, is a medical records specialist for a senior citizen service complex in Highland. Jim and Barb have three children and five grand children. Their oldest child is Stacey, is a nurse-administrator at an area hospital. She is married to Brian Zobrist, a medical technician. Stacey and Brian have three children, Rachel, Andrew, and Grace. The second daughter is Jennifer, a former high school Spanish teacher. Her husband Mike is a Regional Specialist for a communications hardware company. Jennifer and Mike have two children, Nick and Paige. The youngest Burgett child is Doug, recently graduated from the University of Illinois as a graphic artist in computers and media.

In addition to being a co-author, in 2003, of What Every Superintendent and Principal Needs to Know, Jim participated in the "Excellence in Education for Superintendents and Principals" report series by writing "How to Handle the Death of a Student, Faculty, or Staff Member" in 2004.

Jim participated in the revising and updating of the second edition of What Every Superintendent and Principal Needs to Know in 2007 and both co-authored the book The Perfect School (with Jim Rosborg and Max McGee) and wrote his own book, Teachers Change Lives 24/7: 150 ways to do it right, all in the same year!

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