After 27 years in education, longtime Burks Elementary Principal Pam Bendorf has announced her plan to retire in December. The district has chosen current Minshew Principal Al Conley as Bendorf’s successor at Burks.
Both will remain at their current campuses through the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year. Conley will assume his duties as principal of Burks this summer in preparation for the 2017-2018 school year, and Bendorf will remain in service to the district through December.
“It has been my extreme pleasure to work with a great group of people who give their hearts for the students every day,” Bendorf said. “I love each of our Burks Eagles and will miss their smiles and hugs. I’ve learned so much over the years in McKinney ISD and will be forever grateful for the opportunities afforded me as a result.”
Bendorf added that she is interested in counseling and in her retirement may pursue credentials to re-enter the education arena at the post-secondary level. But, the door of possibilities is wide open. “Who knows, maybe I can do some of the traveling I have dreamed about for years. The world is my oyster, and I plan on finding a perfect pearl!”
Bendorf began her career as an elementary teacher in Anna ISD and later taught in Allen, but more than half of her career has revolved around MISD. Bendorf has invested just over a decade at Burks, having served as principal there for 11 of her 16 years in the district. As she reflected on passing the torch to a new principal, Bendorf expressed confidence in Conley’s leadership.
“I believe Mr. Conley will be a positive addition to Burks Elementary,” Bendorf said. “I’ve known him for several years and have admired his commitment to the students at the schools where he has served. I leave Burks knowing it will be in good hands, and the students, staff and parent communities will be well cared for.”
On the transition in leadership, Suzy Woodard, MISD assistant superintendent of elementary student support said, “It’s been a privilege to work with Pam Bendorf as a colleague over my 15 years in the district, and I’m excited for her as she enters this new chapter of her life. I know that she and Mr. Conley are going to work closely together to plan a smooth transition, and I’m excited about what Al is going to bring to the Burks team.”
Conley will move over from Minshew Elementary where he has served as principal for the past three and a half years.
He began his career in 1999 as a 5th grade teacher in Grapevine/Colleyville ISD and two years later, served in the same capacity for Frisco ISD. He later spent a year teaching in Georgia, but returned to North Texas to serve at Webb Elementary in MISD where he would teach 5th grade and 2nd grade over the next five years. In 2007, he became the assistant principal at Minshew and served in that capacity for five years. In 2012, he transferred to Malvern Elementary where he was the assistant principal for one year before returning to Minshew in 2013 to serve as principal.
“It’s been a great privilege to serve as an assistant principal and principal at Minshew,” Conley said. “Through the years I have developed a close relationship with the Minshew family, and to serve in a school named after them is beyond words. I’m humbled to have had the opportunity to watch so many of our students develop into incredible young adults.
“This year, the first kindergarten class that walked through the doors of Minshew will graduate as seniors, so it feels like a good time to embark on a new journey. Burks has such a strong, rich history here in McKinney and the opportunity to serve there is quite an honor. I look forward to carrying on the legacy of Ms. Bendorf and becoming a part of the Burks family,” he said.
Conley holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas.
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.