Dr. Alan Burke retired from a 42-year career in public education in August 2016. Most recently (2014-2016) he served as executive director of the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), the organization that supports and advocates for the 1477 elected school board members in the state.
Previously, he was deputy superintendent for K-12 education at OSPI (2009-2014), with line supervisory responsibility for numerous agency divisions including teaching and learning, school improvement, assessment and student records, career and technical education, student support, and federal programs and accountability. He was a member of Superintendent Randy Dorn’s executive cabinet and spent considerable time on legislative matters and advocacy.
Prior to moving to OSPI, Alan was superintendent of schools in Yelm (1998-2009), a district with 5,300 students and ten schools. While there, he also was deputy superintendent and principal of two buildings. Before coming to Yelm in 1991, he held principalships in the Orting and Central Kitsap School Districts. He taught for nine years (mostly social studies at the middle school level) and coached extensively. He earned an Ed.D from the University of Washington in 1990, focusing his research work on identifying effective programs and practices at the middle school level.
Alan lives in Olympia with his wife Pam (a retired elementary school principal) and has several family members who are active in the K-12 system. He enjoys hiking, mountain climbing (a dozen ascents of Mt. Rainier in addition to several high altitude climbs in South America, Europe, Africa and Asia), foreign travel and spending time with his granddaughters. His other hobby is following developments in state and federal K-12 educational policy—especially efforts to assure equity and access for all students to a world class education.