CPSD Superintendent Named Clinton’s Outstanding Citizen
Phil Burchfield first came to Clinton in 1986 to serve as assistant principal of Clinton High School. In the years since, he has gone on to lead the Clinton Public School District to becoming one of the highest achieving school districts in Mississippi. On Thursday, he was honored with the Clinton Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Citizen award.
“It was a surprise and an honor to get this award,” Burchfield said. “It’s something I’ll remember for a long time.”
Burchfield began his career in education in 1975, working as a teacher at Ackerman High School in Ackerman. He taught for 11 years before moving into administration, serving as an assistant principal at Clinton High School from 1986-1994.
He was named principal of Clinton High in 1994, and held this position until 2003, when he moved to Starkville Public School District to serve as superintendent of schools. Under his leadership, the district’s enrollment grew by more than 200 students, its budget grew to more than $39 million, and the district passed a $26.5 million bond issue.
He returned to Clinton five years later, and in July of 2008 began serving as superintendent of the Clinton Public School District. Today he oversees nine schools with a total enrollment of more than 4,800 students.
During his time as superintendent, the Clinton Public School District has twice earned the highest possible academic rating a Mississippi school district can attain. In 2010, CPSD overwhelmingly passed a $23.5 million bond issue to construct a new elementary campus and renovate Clinton Junior High.
CPSD is now in the process of overhauling its curriculum from the old Mississippi standard to the more rigorous Common Core State Standards. And CPSD this fall will be the only Mississippi school district to provide a new computer for every student and every teacher through its 1:1 Digital Technology Initiative.
“We have worked hard over the past four years to be the best academically, and now we are moving forward with curriculum and technology that will strengthen our standing as the best school district around,” said Assistant Superintendent Tim Martin. “Dr. Burchfield’s vision and leadership are at the top of this charge. He has taken our district from good to great, and this whole community is seeing the benefits.”
Dr. Burchfield received an associate’s degree in biology from Holmes Community College and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Mississippi State University. He completed his Master’s of Educational Leadership in 1982, his Specialist of Educational Leadership in 1989 and his Doctorate of Educational Leadership in 1995, all from Mississippi State.
He is a member of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, the Mississippi Association of School Administrators, the Mississippi High School Activities Association, Phi Delta Kappa and Rotary International.
He is a past president and serves on the board of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, and has served on the boards of the Mississippi School of Math and Science and the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.
He and his wife Nita live in Clinton. They have three children and two grandchildren.