WARSAW — Warsaw Community Schools staff have selected David Burden as the principal of Washington STEM Academy pending school board approval.
Burden earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008. He went on to earn a High Ability Certificate in 2011 and his Master of Science in educational leadership in 2019. Burden began his teaching career in North Carolina and moved to Washington STEM Academy in August 2013. In 2016, Burden transitioned to become an instructional coach for Washington STEM Academy and for Madison Elementary. Burden was instrumental in the original STEM certification of Madison Elementary and in the recertification of Washington STEM Academy. In June 2020, Burden accepted a position as principal for LaVille Elementary.
“David’s repertoire of skills enable him to be an asset to our school corporation,” said Madison Elementary Principal Ben Barkey. “He possesses a very kind and caring attitude and is known as a positive role model to the students, staff and parents he interacts with.”
“David understands the importance of investing into students through education, emotional support, and time well spent, as they are our future leaders,” said WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert. “I am confident that David Burden will continue the tradition of Washington staying a national leader in STEM education.”
“We are excited to watch David build on the rich legacy at Washington STEM,” said Dr. David Robertson, assistant superintendent for elementary education. “David brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. The future is bright at Washington.”
Burden and his wife, Valerie, have two sons and a daughter. Ezra, 8, and Josiah, 6, will both be students at Washington STEM Academy this coming school year. Elliana is only three but she’ll also be a proud Hornet in a few years. Valerie, a Warsaw graduate from the Class of 2004, is excited to be moving back to her hometown and is expecting the couple’s fourth child in May.
Tom Ray recently announced his retirement after serving as the principal for Washington STEM Academy for 22 years.
“David is kind, compassionate, loving, empathetic, and is an example of ‘the Washington Way,'” said Ray. “He will help Warsaw Community Schools move the mission forward with honor and dignity.
“Tom Ray is an amazing mentor and friend,” said Burden. “I am so fortunate to have learned under his leadership over the years. Tom’s impact and presence will be missed by everyone, including me. I am incredibly humbled to carry on his legacy of excellence in STEM education and his example of servant leadership.”