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New CUHS superintendent comes home to alma mater
John Burch, a 1978 Corning High School graduate, has come home.
The Corning Union High School District board of trustees hired the 51-year-old Burch Thursday to replace District Superintendent Bruce Cole, who is retiring as of June 30.
Burch's first official day on the job will be July 1, but he is already getting involved so he can hit the pavement running.
Following his graduation from high school, Burch earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics at California State University, Chico, then did his student teaching back at his high school alma mater.
Hired by Red Bluff High School, his career continued for 18 years as a math teacher, 12 of which he chaired the math department. For the past 11 years, he served as associate principal of curriculum and assessment.
"It is really exciting to come on board back here where I graduated," Burch said. "I see this as a privilege and a super opportunity."
On hand to congratulate Burch was his wife, Jenny, who is a 1979 Corning High graduate, and his parents Skip and Donna Whipple. She recently retired as a cafeteria worker at Corning High.
"I am so proud of my son," Donna Whipple said. "This is exciting."
John Burch and his wife live north of Red Bluff, where they have raised four daughters and one son.
"My son is attending physical therapy school in Texas. One of my daughters is a family and marriage therapist for Tehama County, another is attending Simpson College, and we have a junior at Red Bluff High School and an eighth-grader at Reeds Creek Elementary," Burch said.
As he prepares to take the reins, Burch said he wants to continue the "good things that are happening" and do what he can to make the district an even better place.
"My main goal to start out with is to get around to all the different places within the district and talk to everyone I can. That way I can come on site and give support necessary as we work hard to educate our students," he said. "I understand I have a lot of learning to do."
Burch said the greatest challenge is dealing with the uncertainty of the district's budget and finances.
"There is a lot of strain on the district financially, and there is a lot of anxiety among staff because of that uncertainty," he said.
Burch joined the board of trustees in the closed session of Thursday's meeting to discuss faculty contract negotiations.