Michael Burke takes over as interim superintendent of School District of Palm Beach County

Burke most recently served as school district's chief financial officer
Michael Burke is sworn-in as interim superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County on July 28, 2021.jpg
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 28, 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The School District of Palm Beach County has a new superintendent.

School board members on Wednesday approved an official contract agreement for interim superintendent Michael Burke, who is taking over for Dr. Donald Fennoy who announced earlier this month he's resigning.

RELATED: Palm Beach County superintendent explains 'heavy' decision to resign

Burke, who's been with the school district since 1998 and most recently served as its chief financial officer, was unanimously appointed to interim superintendent at a July 21 school board meeting.


Interim superintendent Michael Burke sworn in

With the contract approved on Wednesday, Burke takes over the superintendent role immediately.

Burke will serve until a successor is named and assumes the position. However, board members said Burke will be eligible to apply for the job.

"I think that we have shown the public that we have great confidence in the direction that we're going in," said School Board Vice Chair Karen Brill. "And I think Mr. Burke's acceptance of the position says that he's confident in the direction that we're going."

Under the approved contract, Burke's annual salary through June 30, 2022 will be $300,000.

If another candidate is chosen for the position permanently, Burke will go back to his role as chief financial officer at his former salary.


Palm Beach County School Board approves interim superintendent contract

School board members on Wednesday also voted to move Fennoy to the chief of staff position within the School District of Palm Beach County, where he said he'll serve until Aug. 9, the day before the 2021/22 school year is set to begin.

Fennoy delivered his final address as superintendent at the start of Wednesday's meeting, thanking the school board, the entire school district staff, students, and parents for their dedication, flexibility, and resiliency over the last three years.

"I have grown a lot. But I am very excited about the opportunity to spend a lot more time with my family," Fennoy said, adding that he has full confidence in Burke. "I look forward to the great work and leadership you're gonna provide this district moving forward."


Dr. Donald Fennoy delivers final address as superintendent

"It's been said that you have done a job well if you leave it better than you found it, and that you most certainly have done," School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri said of Fennoy's tenure as superintendent.

The School District of Palm Beach County is planning a full return to in-classroom instruction on Aug. 10, including optional face masks for all students, staff members, and visitors inside school buildings and on school district transportation.