Dr. Sue F. Burgess, Superintendent of Dare County Schools since July 1, 2000, has announced her retirement at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year. Burgess is currently the longest-serving superintendent in the state of North Carolina.
Burgess, 65, will have completed 30 years of service in the state when she retires. Burgess began her career as a teacher for 11 years at North Davidson Jr. High School in Welcome, North Carolina. After a brief stint as assistant principal at Davis-Townsend Elementary in Lexington, North Carolina, she accepted a position in Hanover County (Virginia) Public Schools as principal of John M. Gandy Elementary School in Ashland. Three years later she was promoted to the central office where she was assigned to middle and high school education, special education, and student services.
In 1993 she was named Superintendent of Schools in King William County, near Richmond, Virginia. In 1996, she was tapped to become superintendent of Spotsylvania County Public Schools in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
According to a search of school board minutes performed by former Board Assistant Noreen Shafer, Burgess is the longest-serving superintendent in the history of Dare County Schools. The previous longest tenure for a superintendent was 15 years, which was the length of term for Mary Evans, who served from 1951 to 1966.
When asked to comment on her longevity, Burgess responded that she had been “fortunate to be surrounded by an incredibly talented contingent of teachers, principals, central office staff, and all other employees.” She also acknowledged the importance of the support of school board members, parents, and the community over the years.
Burgess plans to continue to reside in Nags Head when she retires.