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Joe Burk

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I have taught International Baccalaureate Middle Years Science and Diploma Program Biology for over 20 years and I have worked as the IB MYP Principal Examiner for Biology for over five years. I have also worked as a graduate level instructor for over five years and enjoy many aspects of adult education.

Started at Bethel

2017

Education

  • Iowa State University - Bachelor's Degree in Animal Ecology, 1996
  • Hamline University - Master's Degree in Natural Science and Environmental Education, 2006
  • Capella University - PhD in K-12 Leadership, 2010

Biography

I grew up in a small town in central Iowa and attended Iowa State University where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Animal Ecology with a minor in Environmental Science. After graduation my wife Nikki and I moved to Minneapolis while my wife attended veterinary school and I started teaching at South St. Paul High School. I earned my master’s degree at Hamline University in Natural Sciences and Environmental Education and then went on and earned my PhD in Educational Leadership from University of Capella.

I have been at the same school for 20 years and have taught every grade level from 7th to 12th grade and most of the various science courses that we offer. I have also worked in many different leadership roles including International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program coordinator, science department chair, lead union negotiator, union vice president, and union president. I also worked with another teacher to develop our district’s alternative pay plan for teachers which is a program that pays part of each teacher’s salary based on student performance and professional development activities.

I also work for the International Baccalaureate Organization as a Senior Examiner for MYP Biology which means that I head two teams that are responsible for authoring two Biology exams each year and then marking approximately 2500 exams in English and French. This has been a great experience and allows me to travel to Wales at least twice a year and to work with a team of educators from many different countries. This has provided me with many new perspectives on our educational system.

When I am not teaching or working for the IBO I enjoy spending time with my two young sons, Izaak and Ethan, who are eight and five respectively. We spend most of our free time camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing, rock climbing, downhill skiing, snow shoeing, and running. My youngest son was born with a diaphragmatic hernia and required a few surgeries and a ten week stay in the NICU before being able to come home. Once home he was on oxygen and a feeding pump for a few years but has recovered fully and is doing well now. Because of our experience with Ethan my brothers and I created and run a non-profit called Miracle Travel Works that reimburses families for travel expenses incurred from traveling to have a sick child treated. We have raised over $250,000 in four years and helped over 100 families.

Courses Taught

Graduate Program Courses in the International Baccalaureate Teaching and Learning Certificate program

Publications

Published Book

Performance Pay for Teachers: AN ANALYSIS OF MINNESOTA'S ALTERNATIVE TEACHERS PAY PLAN SYSTEM AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE MATH ACHIEVEMENT OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS published by VDM Verlag in 2010.

Published Article in Professional Journal

Burk, Ian. (2012). Idea Bank: The snowball method of questioning. The Science Teacher, 79(4), 79.

Certificates and Licenses

Minnesota Teaching License 7-12 Life Science

Minnesota K-12 Administrative License

Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards

Miracle Travel Works Board Member and Awards Committee Chairperson

Member of National Association of Biology Teachers

Member of Phi Delta Kappan

Member of National Science Teachers Association         

 

Hobbies and Interests

I enjoy running, reading, canoing, camping, rock climbing, traveling, upland hunting, dog training, and hiking.