Teacher of the Week: Mrs. Suzy Burket


Nevaeh Conte

Mrs. Burket in front of her festive Christmas tree!

It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone, especially teachers. The pandemic has changed almost every aspect of their job in some way, yet the teachers at TAHS have been resilient, learning new methods of communication and instruction, changing their teaching plans in a moment’s notice, and doing their best to keep students on track through in-person and remote learning – sometimes both at the same time.

Each week of the 2021-2022 school year the Eagle Eye will spotlight a TAHS teacher who has gone above and beyond to help their students navigate high school during a global pandemic.

Congratulations to this week’s nominee – Mrs. Suzy Burket. Burket teaches ninth grade US history and DE US history.  She has been at Tyrone High School since 1991. She is also a very talented vocalist and has, on occasion, even been known to perform for her students. Thank you Mrs. Burket for all that you do!

Eagle Eye: Why did you become a teacher?

Suzy Burket: I started out in college as a communication major and was planning to go into network news broadcasting because I had a strong interest in history and current events, and I was good at public speaking because of my singing and acting background. I learned more about network news when I was in an operetta with a local newsroom manager, and I gradually decided that I wouldn’t be happy in that profession. I wanted to do something that was meaningful. I definitely had not considered teaching prior to this because they were paid less than factory workers. However, when I was in college, teacher pay was starting to increase enough that I was willing to consider it as a career.

EE: Why did you choose the subject you teach?

SB: I was torn between history and music. I actually went to my old chorus teacher and asked his advice. He said, “You are a perfectionist in music, and you will be dissatisfied with those students who just don’t care about music and see your class as a place to goof off. Pick your 2nd choice because you won’t take offense when a student says they hate history.” That isn’t the only reason I chose history, but it definitely played a role in my decision. My deplorable piano skills were another big reason behind my choice!

EE: What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Tyrone?

SB: I have worked with some really good people here over the years, adults and students alike. They are the best part of Tyrone.

EE: What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?

SB: Singing has always been a big part of my life.

EE: What is some good advice you’ve been given as a teacher?

SB: I can’t say I’ve been given advice, but I think all teachers look at the teachers they have sat under for examples. The teachers I admired the most were those who treated everyone fairly and never showed favoritism, those who utilized class time wisely, those who were organized and prepared, and those who had high expectations for everyone.

EE: What’s the hardest part of teaching and why?

SB: When you first start teaching, it is shocking how many different things there are to do, and few of these expectations are written down anywhere. It takes a long time to figure it all out. One time I started writing down everything that needed to be done to plan a field trip so that I could share it with new teachers. I think that document was 2 pages long, single-spaced.

EE: What are some jobs held before you got into teaching?

SB: I was a Hertz car rental agent in high school. During summer breaks from college, I worked in a paper factory; I assisted a civil engineer/land surveyor in the field, and I was a singer at Boyertown the first year it opened.

EE: What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

SB: I grew up on a dairy farm in the middle of nowhere. Entertainment was music, reading, or riding my horse up into the mountain behind my house.

EE: What’s your favorite movie?

SB: Honestly, I don’t watch much tv/movies anymore. Also, I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to reread a book or rewatch a movie.

EE: What is your spirit animal? Why?

SB: Maybe my spirit animal is a cat. I look at my cats lounging around in the sun, and I envy them because, someday, I would like to have time to do that. . . preferably on the beach. . . of a beautiful island.