Lisa Burns

Lisa M. Burns

W.T. Lewis Elementary School
Bossier Parish School Board
Bossier City, Louisiana

When Lisa Burns took the helm at W.T. Lewis Elementary School, the school was in the midst of a demographic shift and a downward trend in performance. These conditions set Burns on a mission to transform teaching and learning at the school, realigning practice to meet the changing needs of a diverse student body. Driven to ensure opportunity for students of all backgrounds and abilities, Burns has supported her team in bridging performance gaps to elevate performance among economically disadvantaged students, students of color, and students with disabilities. Today, students of all ethnicities are performing in the top 20 percent for the state, and students with disabilities are performing better than 95 percent of schools in Louisiana. Burns says this success was made possible by a cultural shift grounded in her ability to “unleash the power of ‘we’ ”—increasing professional purpose and collaboration, shoring up loving support systems, and centering relationship and social-emotional development through initiatives such as restorative practices and a house system. Committed to inspiring greatness and leadership in others, Burns has used this transformative process as an opportunity to mentor several teachers to pursue advanced leadership and education. Burns has served Bossier City as a teacher and an administrator for the past 23 years. She holds an M.Ed. in Leadership from Louisiana State University and an M.Ed. in Technology and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Northwestern State University.