Interim Superintendent

We are excited to welcome Mr. Joe Burgess as the Interim Superintendent for the 2020-2021 school year! Mr. Burgess is a retired Superintendent with 33 years of educational experience, and is a graduate of KHS. Welcome, Mr. Burgess!

Mr. Burgess

Joe F. Burgess, Jr., a native of Knoxville, retired in 2017 after thirty-three (33) years of education, twenty-eight of which have been in public school administration. Mr. Burgess is a 1980 graduate of Knoxville High School and a 1984 graduate of Monmouth College, Monmouth IL. He started his educational career in 1984 at R.O.V.A. (later R.O.W.V.A.) #208 in Oneida, IL. He was an elementary teacher and coached football and basketball. In 1988, Mr. Burgess was named elementary principal and head teacher at Rio Elementary, and two years later named to the same position at Wataga Elementary, a school newly petitioned into the R.O.W.V.A. School District.

1992, Mr. Burgess joined the Galesburg # 205 School District as an elementary principal and a year later was named Title One Director for the district along with his principal duties. While Title One Director, Mr. Burgess was honored by the State Board of Education in 1997 as a Gold Star of Excellence Award winner for innovative practices in the area of Title One in the state of Illinois.

 In 1998, he became Superintendent of Schools at Saunemin Elementary District # 438 in Saunemin, IL. This K-8 district was a feeder district to Pontiac High School and Dwight High School. Saunemin was noted by the State Board as one of the first school districts in the state to complete the differentiated instruction process of having an individual educational plan for every student in the district.

2003 was Mr. Burgess’ first year as superintendent at Tuscola CUSD # 301 in Tuscola, IL. In 2006, Tuscola’s elementary school North Ward was honored as a National Blue Ribbon school for academic excellence. 

2010 Mr. Burgess assumed the duties as Genoa-Kingston #424’s new superintendent. While at Genoa-Kingston Mr. Burgess was instrumental in developing a Soft Skills curriculum for students as part of  the DeKalb County Workforce Development Board. Additionally, Genoa-Kingston was recognized as a leader in innovative practices and business leadership programs for students.

During his career Mr. Burgess has been active both professionally and civically. He has held several offices in the Illinois Association of School Administrators,  including the president of both the Cornbelt and Illini Divisions. He has been an active Lions Club member, Rotarian and United Way board member. In addition, he has been a member of the Pontiac Library Board, Saunemin Educational Foundation Board, Tuscola Economic Development Board, The Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce Board and numerous civic committees. In 2016 Mr. Burgess was named a state superintendent of distinction by the Illinois Association of School Administrators and State Superintendent of Schools.


BA Elementary Education

Monmouth College, Monmouth Il – 1984

MA Educational Administration

Western Illinois University, Macomb, Il – 1992

Ed Sp Educational Administration

Western Illinois University, Macomb, Il – 1998

Ed D Educational Administration

Illinois State University, Normal, Il

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