I am honored to submit this recommendation to your organization on behalf of Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney. I had the pleasure to work with Dr. Knight for over fifteen years. Please accept this correspondence as a formal letter of recommendation for Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney.
Dr. Knight exemplifies excellent strength in the following leadership areas:
• Works well with others to insure joint efforts are achieved for betterment of schools, district, staff and students.
• Organizes and works collaboratively to accomplish goals/objectives, while recognizing the need to remove any obstacles that could potentially impede the progress or the district, students and educators she service.
• Presents concepts and precepts in an organized fashion with the intent towards serious implementation of policies and procedures.
• Effectively implements and conducts excellent staff development sessions and enlightening workshops.
• Effectively develops and maintains cross departmental and interagency relationships.
• Develops creative avenues to insure a supportive environment for students, educators and parents.
• Excellent record keeper and negotiator.
• Perseverance during times of adversity using creative problem solving skills.
These assets served Dr. Knight well in her acceptance of the challenge to become superintendent of a district with zero fund balance, a deficient budget that could not sustain district wide programs, failing vocational and alternative schools, slow academic growth and a looming 97 million dollar bond debt during the 2010 Harrisburg school year. She worked with staff, community partners and the Board to make drastic cuts/bold new changes to begin corrective action that addressed many of the problem facing the District. Lack of money/revenue was the key weakness of the District’s scenario; so she looked at the many facets of employee talents to condense work load and responsibilities. By 2014 due to the extraordinary efforts of Dr. Knight’s work with District staff, community partners the fund balance was 22.5 million dollars, the budget was on track to sustain programs which included: students attending Dauphin County Vo-Tech, the adoption of a scientifically based reading program, five schools awarded millions of dollars via school improvement grants, a high school received Blue Ribbon Status, also the adoption of STEM and Educational Leadership Programs.
Dr. Knight commands excellent rapport with Board members, students, educators, community partners and other stakeholders. She participated in district-related activities with enthusiasm and reflects a wide scope of preparation capabilities as well as organizational skills. She exhibits genuine concern for the welfare of others which contributes to her success. One would have to experience a working relationship with Dr. Knight to fully appreciate her fine qualities. She is a dedicated professional who genuinely loves challenges and thrives on seeing hard work come full circle.