After 47 years in education, Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) superintendent, Dr. Debbi Burdick, will be retiring on December 31. Dr. Burdick has held the position of CCUSD superintendent since 2008 and came to the district in 2004 as associate superintendent. During her career, she has been a teacher, principal, educational consultant, and adjunct professor at both Grand Canyon and Arizona State Universities. Dr. Burdick graduated summa cum laude with a doctorate from ASU. She has two master’s degrees from Eastern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University. Dr. Burdick was a National Christa McAuliffe Fellow from the USDOE and received the AZ School Administrator’s Educational Doctoral Student of the Year for ASU.
Dr. Burdick and her family moved to Arizona from Illinois in 1995. In 2013, she was voted the ASA’s Superintendent of the Year for Large Districts and was also honored as the Paradise Valley Community College Outstanding Community Leader for 2016. In 2017, she was the AZ Superintendent of the Year for the National Superintendent program.
She serves as a board member for the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, the Cave Creek Unified Educational Foundation, AZ Business and Education Coalition, the Desert Foothills YMCA Advisory Board, the AZ Musicfest Board, and AASA National Superintendent’s Organization’s Governing Board. She is also on the City of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission and the AZ Department of Child Safety Community Advisory Committee. She was a recent Chairperson of the North Valley Educational Consortium and AZ School Administrators Superintendent Division president. Dr. Burdick is Past-President of Arizona School Administrators, past Chair of the Greater PHX Educational Management Council, and past Chair of the North Valley Educational Consortium. She is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Carefree and served on the Kiwanis Board.
During her tenure at CCUSD, all the schools accomplished A+ status as well as ranking in the top 10 districts in Arizona for its high standardized test scores. Most recently, Horseshoe Trails Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School. The world language programs expanded so that all students have the opportunity to learn a second language. She facilitated the establishment of the very first CCUSD foundation, the Cave Creek Unified Education Foundation (CCUEF), that provides yearly teacher grants for CCUSD educators. Dr. Burdick started the extremely successful Superintendent’s Challenge that has encouraged CCUSD students, beginning in the intermediate grades, to do community service throughout our community and county. In 2014, CCUSD successfully passed a bond election for the new Cactus Shadows Field House and stadium, and safety improvements for the schools. In 2018, the CCUSD voters also passed the election for CCUSD to join the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) for expanded opportunities for students.
“A humble thank you to the entire CCUSD community for working alongside me for the benefit of our students,” Dr. Burdick shares. “I will miss working with the incredible CCUSD staff, parents and students but I look forward to continuing to support our schools as a shareholder in our extraordinary CCUSD community.”