After 47 years in education, Cave Creek Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Debbi Burdick will retire on Dec. 31.
Dr. Burdick has held the position of CCUSD Superintendent since 2008 and joined the district in 2004 as associate superintendent, according toa press release that detailed her career.
During her career, she has been a teacher, principal, educational consultant and adjunct professor at both Grand Canyon and Arizona State Universities.
She graduated summa cum laude with a doctorate from ASU; two masters degrees from Eastern Illinois University and a bachelors degree from Western Illinois University.
A National Christa McAuliffe Fellow from the USDOE, she received the AZ School Administrator’s Educational Doctoral Student of the Year for ASU and the Outstanding Senior in Education Award from Western IL University, the release said.
She and her family moved to Arizona from Illinois in 1995, the release said, adding that in 2013, she was voted the ASA’s Superintendent of the Year for Large Districts and was honored as the Paradise Valley Community College Outstanding Community Leader for 2016.
In 2017, she was the AZ Superintendent of the Year for the National Superintendent program, the release added.
“It is special to have the opportunity to live and work in the same community and I have been blessed with so many deep relationships and friendships. The professionalism and skill of our educators is unprecedented and it has been an honor to work with them, ” said Dr. Burdick in a prepared statement.
She recognized the generosity of local community organizations, such as the Kiwanis Club of Carefree and the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber, as well as the school PTOs.
"Our CCUSD parents give time and resources whenever needed. A humble thank you to the entire CCUSD community for working alongside me for the benefit of our students. I will miss working with the incredible CCUSD staff, parents and students but I look forward to continuing to support our schools as a shareholder in our extraordinary CCUSD community."
Dr. Burdick also serves as a board member for the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, the Cave Creek Unified Educational Foundation, AZ Business and Education Coalition, the Desert Foothills YMCA Advisory Board, the AZ Musicfest Board and AASA National Superintendent’s Organization’s Governing Board.
Also on the city of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission and the AZ Department of Child Safety Community Advisory Committee, she was a recent chairperson of the North Valley Educational Consortium and AZ School Administrators Superintendent Division President.
A member of the Kiwanis Club of Carefree who served on the Kiwanis Board, Dr. Burdick is past-president of Arizona School Administrators, past chair of the Greater PHX Educational Management Council and past chair of the North Valley Educational Consortium.
During her tenure at CCUSD, all the schools accomplished A+ status as well as ranking in the top 10 districts in Arizona for its high standardized test scores. Recently, Horseshoe Trails Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School.
The world language programs expanded so that all students have the opportunity to learn a second language, the release noted.
She facilitated establishing the very first CCUSD foundation, the Cave Creek Unified Education Foundation, which provides yearly teacher grants for CCUSD educators.
Dr. Burdick started the successful Superintendent’s Challenge that has encouraged CCUSD students, beginning in the intermediate grades, to do community service throughout the community and county.
In 2014, CCUSD successfully passed a bond election for the new Cactus Shadows Field House and stadium, and safety improvements for the schools.
In 2018, the CCUSD voters also passed the election for CCUSD to join the East Valley Institute of Technology for expanded opportunities for students.