Calhoun High School graduate, principal Burris helps mold next generation of Unit 40 students
Cheri Burris’ favorite part of being principal of Calhoun High School is her interaction with the students.
“I enjoy seeing how the students change and grow over the four years,” Burris told West Central Reporter. “Many of these students are the children of people I grew up with so it is interesting seeing the same mannerisms, habits and character these students share with their parents.”
Burris, who attended school in the Calhoun 40 School District and graduated from Calhoun High School, began working for the district as a junior high health and physical education teacher in 1992. Burris has held numerous roles at Calhoun High School including special-education teacher, health teacher, dean of students and assistant principal. She became principal in 2015.
“Being a principal is never boring,” Burris said. “Each day brings something different. Education is constantly changing . . . the way we teach, what we have to teach, funding, new laws . . . just keeping up with and being ready for all these changes is important.”
Burris takes her role as an educator personally and assists with activities such as picking up donated groceries for the Warrior Food Bank to help students and families in need. She also helps transport students to and from activities when buses are not available or affordable.
“I would also like to see more parent-teacher communication and involvement at the high school level," she said. "This is one of our school-improvement goals this year. I plan to get my staff involved in a spring showcase next year so parents and community members can see all the great things our students are doing and making.”
Burris grew up in Hamburg and currently lives in Hardin. She initially worked toward a bachelor’s degree in physical education at Quincy College but then transferred to Eastern Illinois University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in health education and athletic training.
“I just remember being in high school and wanting to teach physical education,” she said. “I became more interested in health as I progressed through college, so I changed my major.”
Burris went on to obtain certification in special education and a master’s degree in education administration.
During her free time, Burris enjoys talking walks, riding her horse and camping with her family.