Joining the Family: First-Year South Lakes High School Teacher Follows in Mom's Footsteps at FCPS

Like mother, like daughter and son - the children of Edison High School's principal are now starting their own career journeys within FCPS.

By Office of Communications
September 18, 2023

Since 2000, Edison High School Principal Amanda Burke has been a familiar face at Fairfax County Public Schools. She started her career teaching at the high school she now leads. Today, Principal Burke’s infectious enthusiasm for education reflects in her two children, who also work for FCPS.

Principal Burke’s daughter, Corinne, is in her first year as a multiple disabilities teacher at South Lakes High School. Her son, Zachary, is a special education and biology teacher at Woodson High School. 

Corinne says she felt drawn back to FCPS after attending college in South Carolina because she knew the district would give her a strong foundation at the start of her career with the support systems and resources the district offers. Zach already had a professional history with the school district before he attended college.

“I’ve been hired through the county since I was in middle school,” he said, “So [FCPS has] supported me in a lot of different ways. And yeah, I just couldn’t think of working anywhere else, kind of giving back a little bit from all the years it gave me.”

Both Corinne and Zach grew up attending grade school in the district. Now as teachers, they say the programs FCPS offers for career support drew them back as young professionals.

“My South Lakes teams provided me with more support than I could have asked for,” Corinne writes. Both Corinne and Zach also say FCPS’s Great Beginnings program and instructional coaches are valuable resources for new educators. 

“Fairfax County is so tightly knit, it’s like a family,” said Zachary. “Everyone seems to know everyone, and everywhere you go, you find support systems.”

“I know that both of my children couldn’t make it through their day without their mentors,” said Principal Burke. 

Edison High School Principal Mandy Burke and her son, Zachary, at Woodson High School.
Edison High School Principal Mandy Burke and her son, Zachary, at Woodson High School.

As a family, Principal Burke and her children are also in a unique position, being able to support each other. Corinne says they often ask each other questions, share ideas on ways to teach effectively, or simply share stories about their work day.

“A lot of times the kids will come home and talk about a situation that happened and [I’ll] say, ‘This is how I might have handled it,’” said Principal Burke. “So I think we have a great support network, and we can all sympathize with each other.”

Principal Burke says the support systems that form at FCPS are what makes this school community so special - something she’s now passing on to her children as they begin their careers.

“I’ve had many people through various schools, various offices, help to mentor and support me as I grew from being a first-year teacher in 2000 at Edison High School, all the way up to now being the principal at Edison High School,” she said. “That journey has been long, and not without the help of many, many people who saw potential and gave me the opportunities.”

Principal Burke and her children know how to represent their schools!
Principal Burke and her children know how to represent their schools!

FCPS also offers Grow Your Own programs, which identify FCPS students and employees interested in pursuing teaching or other career opportunities within the school district. Click here to learn more about our Grow Your Own programs.