Dear Prospective Client,
Thank you for your interest and time to review the possibilities and opportunities that my educational consultancy, Transformational Leadership Agency, has to offer. I am Sybil Knight- Burney, educational administrator and transformational leader with over 30 years of experience. My journey as an educator began in Fort Myers, Florida and provided me the foundation to continue to build my career and administrative leadership skills.
As the former Superintendent of the Harrisburg School District for 10 years, I have vast knowledge and experience in leading a distressed urban school district while in the midst of transformation. Faced with a $22 million deficit and legislatively labeled as a “School district in Recovery “and as a newly appointed Superintendent, I was able to provide financial stability by implementing a restructuring process that would eventually allow the district to achieve a $35 million fund balance. With the prior educational leadership experience as an Assistant Superintendent, secondary and elementary school Principal, assistant principal and teacher, I was able to include students, parents and the community members in a process that would welcome their active participation and incorporate their input. As I assembled a team that would assist me with aligning academic achievement with financial accountability, we were able to create systems that would increase the efficiency of the school district. This included, but was not limited to implementing a K-12 curriculum, job embedded professional development, and teacher recruitment. Transformation is pivotal in the work that I have performed and aligns with the kind of challenges currently being faced in education today. This has allowed me the opportunity to share my experiences with other thought leaders on national platforms and forums as we discussed how to prepare our youth for the global job market.
Selected as a member of the first cohort for the Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education’s Superintendent’s Academy, I was able to showcase my Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA). This is a professional learning community of teachers who are empowered to learn together and influence each other as they develop skills as Master Teachers. As an extension of TLA, I pursued a partnership with Shippensburg University, and was able to interest them in my Aspiring Urban Leaders Program. We were able to create a course of study that provided internships and mentoring from current urban administrators with the goal of preparing teachers to lead, specifically in Urban school districts. Additionally, we secured a $1 million grant to fund the “Learning to Lead” project which allowed current interested educators from Harrisburg and other urban districts to be professionally mentored as they obtained their Principal’s certification. Thus, creating a pool of highly qualified educational leaders ready to serve in Urban school systems. TLA was being solicited as a model for the state.
I was also selected to be a member of the first cohort for the Southern Educations Foundation’s Racial Equity Leadership Network. As a RELN fellow, I convened a district Equity Team that created a district equity plan which included the entire district staff in discussions about racial inequity and discriminatory practices. I know that my skills as demonstrated by the successful creation, participation in and implementation of these highly engaging programs, will compliment and align with the pragmatic experiences that are vital to educational systems. I have previously taught courses that focused on multicultural education, cultural sensitivity and equity as an adjunct faculty member at Framingham State University and Lesley College. Additionally, I served as a Supervisory Instructor for Harvard University overseeing their candidates receiving their Master’s degree in Education.
As Superintendent of the Harrisburg (PA) School District, I was aggressively meeting the goals and initiatives of the legislative mandated Recovery Plan, however, after 5 years, the state moved to appoint a Receiver, due to lack of Board cohesiveness. This has left the Board powerless, and a change in the district administration ensued. Even though my position was eliminated, I was able to stabilize the district and institute systemic changes that would provide a path for improving student academic achievement. I know that I will prove to be a viable asset as I impart my unique experiences as a leader in Urban and various areas of education and share academic and ‘real life’ challenges that will assist in supporting the growth of quality leaders within your organization.
Thank you for your time and the opportunity to share my information. As you review my website, I am hopeful that you will find my experiences and skills beneficial to your organization. Please feel free to contact me should you desire further discussion and/or clarification (239)692-0012.
Sybil Knight-Burney, Ed.D.
Transformational Leadership Agency