Memphis charter school new CEO shares vision for future

By Eryn Rogers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The KIPP Memphis Public Schools (KMPS) is under new leadership.

Antonio Burt, Ed.D.  used to be the Chief of Schools at Shelby County Schools before starting his position as the CEO of KIPP Memphis in November. The charter school network includes five schools.

Dr. Burt says he’s spent a lot of time listening and learning his first few weeks on the job. A job which he says holds a special importance to him.

“So when I think of KIPP, I think of you know, life coming full circle,” Dr. Burt said. “When I moved to Memphis in 2003, I began my teaching career at Cypress middle, which is actually one of the campuses, well two of the campuses are in that same building Ohio. So it’s really getting back to my roots, getting back to supporting students and families in North Memphis. But more importantly, being able to do it across a linear trajectory from elementary, middle to high school, and being able to really design and create the impact that I would like to see holistically across a network.”

He said he wants to engage in transformational learning for KIPP students.

“So my focus will really be around exposing kids to rigorous course offerings, you know, high schools around eight advanced placement courses, also those dual enrollment statewide dual credit programs, getting exposed to what is life like in college and what are those requirements, and then going down from high school to middle; how do we prepare students for you know, STEM and careers or the future, so looking at bringing coding programs inside schools, looking at having internships with signature partnerships, and ensuring that our kids are on or above grade level in literacy, math, science and social studies, so that means having the best teachers and the best leaders inside of our building and excepting no excuses for excellent at each of the sites,” Dr. Burt said.

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