Cathy Burden

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Superintendent of Union Public Schools and Chair of the Tulsa Metropolitan Human Services Commission, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Nominee:  Geoffrey Canada

The district’s motto “Working to form a more perfect Union” was selected by Superintendent Dr. Cathy Burden to inspire a constant focus on excellence. During her 15-year tenure Union Public Schools has been recognized as a premier school district dynamically evolving to provide educational and co-curricular opportunities for a growing student population in the Union communities of Tulsa and Broken Arrow.

Dr. Burden has been a psychologist and educator for thirty-six years and has received numerous awards including the Oklahoma State Superintendent of the Year, the University of Oklahoma’s Career Educator of the Year Award and one of the nation’s most Tech-Savvy Superintendents of the Year Award. She has been recognized as a “difference maker” by the OU College of Education, the Journal Record Woman of the Year program, Tulsa People and the Broken Arrow Ledger. Women in Communications has honored her as their Newsmaker of the Year and Union with their Benchmark Award. The Boy Scouts of America presented her with the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award for unselfish service to the youth of America.

Dr. Burden is the chair of the Tulsa Metropolitan Human Services Commission and is helping to coordinate fund raising for the Tulsa Area United Way in the educational division. She is on the boards of the Community Action Project, the National Conference for Community and Justice, Junior Achievement, the Oklahoma Curriculum Improvement Committee, and the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce. Previously she has served on the boards of the Tulsa Area United Way, Leadership Tulsa, the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, and the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition. She has participated in Leadership Oklahoma, the Educator’s Leadership Academy and is a member of the State Superintendent’s Advisory Council and the United Suburban Schools Association.

Nomination Portfolio