Monica Myers to retire

March 01, 2024
BHS Principal Monica Myers poses for a photo with Superintendent Robert Scott after being presented with a plaque recognizing her more than 30 years in education during a retirement banquet.

BHS Principal Monica Myers poses for a photo with Superintendent Robert Scott after being presented with a plaque recognizing her more than 30 years in education during a retirement banquet.

After 35 years in education, this BHS principal is putting herself out to pasture, literally.

After more than three decades of working in public education, Burlington High School Principal Monica Myers will retire at the end of June.

“It’s going to be different,” Myers said Monday in her office at BHS. “I’ve been involved with this district for 35 years. I did my student teaching here and I never left. I love everything about Burlington.”

Myers studied education at Western Illinois University before doing graduate work at Drake University. She student taught at Burlington schools and substitute taught for both the Burlington and Danville school districts before becoming a first grade reading teacher at Grimes Elementary School in 1991.

After a year at Grimes, she taught sixth grade at Horace Mann Middle School for seven years before returning to the elementary level to teach fifth grade at Sunnyside.

It was during her time at Sunnyside that the district underwent its “newer and fewer” initiative, an ambitious project that involved replacing older elementary buildings with new ones.

“I was at three different buildings at Sunnyside, so we had the original, and then as they were tearing that down, we were located at Prospect,” Myers recalled, noting the parallel between that project and the ongoing renovation of BHS.

After 18 years of teaching fifth grade, Myers took on the district-wide role of teacher leadership and mentoring coordinator. She remained in that position until December 2021, when she was asked to serve as the interim principal of BHS. In April 2022, she became the school’s principal.

“I was in place as interim for a few months, and having filled in during that interim, I realized how much I really enjoyed it,” she said.

Curriculum Director Cory Johnson described Myers as a “highly professional, very dedicated” individual whose leadership has been instrumental in the planning of and preparation for the high school renovation project, as well as in further fostering a positive learning environment for students and a collaborative working environment for staff.

Superintendent Robert Scott also commends Myers for her work.

“Monica has been a dedicated educator and a strong leader for Burlington schools for her entire career,” Scott said. “Her actions in and out of the classroom have improved learning for our staff and students.”

Assistant principals Annie Perez and Brandon Kurovski described Myers as a trusted mentor.

“It has been a blessing to work with her, our admin team and our amazing teachers and staff,” Perez said. “She’s been a wonderful mentor and friend.”

The two also expressed gratitude for having joined Myers’s administrative team.

“I will be forever thankful that she allowed me to join her admin team and help create positive change for our building and community,” Kurovski said. “It will be sad to see her go, but I know she will remain just a phone call away when we need anything.”

Myers takes pride in the fact that teachers leave their doors open during class time because the hallways are so quiet, the dedicated staff, the number of Advanced Placement and Career and Technical Education classes that are offered there, and the diverse and welcoming environment. The positive changes that have taken place at BHS have been a team effort, Myers said, and nothing would have been accomplished without the combined efforts of the teachers, support staff and administrative team working together.

“There are so many positive things here at BHS,” she said. “It’s the caring staff, it’s the amount of courses that we offer. It’s the AP courses that we offer. Every student can find someone that they can fit in with, and I enjoy walking in the lunchroom and seeing so many young people no matter their background or style. They all have someone they can relate to.”

She’ll miss those students, as well as her coworkers, but she has things in mind that she wants to get back to, the first of them being Angus cattle.

That’s right. Cows.

“I’m kind of going full circle,” Myers said, explaining she plans to go into the registered Angus beef business with her nephews.

Myers grew up on a farm in rural Danville. The youngest of three siblings, she spent a considerable amount of time helping her father with the cattle.

“The one time that I remember being late for school, a cow was having a calf and my dad needed my help in the field,” Myers said.

As she and her dad worked that morning to pull the calf from its mother, she watched with mild panic as her school bus came and went. She was going to be late.

“My dad was like, ‘we need to focus on saving this calf right now, not you being to school on time,’” Myers said with a laugh.

Her father, Dwayne Mathews, operated the farm for more than 70 years. He passed away this past November, and Myers feels the time has come to return to her roots.

“You always want to leave a job when you love what you do,” she said.

Myers’s dedication to education has been evident throughout her career, and BCSD is grateful to have had her.

“We sincerely want to thank Monica Myers for her hard work and dedication to the district these past 33 years,” Human Resources Director Laci Johnson said. “She will be missed.”

Taking over for Myers will be Nathan Marting, who currently is the principal at Edward Stone Middle School.