Ascension Catholic loses Janice Burns after 33 years of service

Allison B. Hudson

Ascension Catholic School honored Principal Janice Burns on Thursday, May 13.Mrs. Burns retired at the end of the school year, after 33 years of service at Ascension Catholic.

She was honored with a Proclamation by Donaldsonville Mayor, Leroy Sullivan, proclaiming May 13 as "Janice Burns Day" in Donaldsonville, and presented her with a key to the city.

Later that day, a special program was presented honoring Mrs. Burns in the high school gym, attended by students, staff, family members, and school families.The program consisted of class presentations, with each grade presenting gifts of songs, poetry, prayers, flowers, and other honors.

Allison B. Hudson

Donaldsonville Chief

Name: Janice Burns

Position: Primary and Middle School Principal

School: Ascension Catholic Diocesan Regional Elementary School

Experience: Teacher for 16 years, and Principal for 22 years

Hometown: Donaldsonville

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Nicholls State University, M.Ed. Reading Specialist; Certification in Principalship and Supervision.

Family: Edward Burns Sr., husband, Ed Burns Jr., Alan Burns, and Keith Burns, children, and seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Interests and hobbies: Reading and visiting with family and friends, and volunteering.

In several sentences explain how and why you decided to become an educator.

I believe that even when something sad or tragic happens in ones life, that good can come from it. Losing a child helped me to make the decision to go back to college and complete my education. After completing this part of my education, I found out that I really loved teaching and hoped to make a difference in the lives of children.

Who is a teacher or professor who inspired you and how?

In my elementary years, Sister Francesa, my fourth and fifth grade teacher always encouraged me to do my best. In high school, my English teacher, Mrs. Elmina Thibaut, inspired me to read more and to read different types of literature.

Who is someone in current events who you admire and why?

Generally speaking, I admire those young people who stand up for what they believe is right, no matter what their peers may say or do. It is very difficult for young people today to do that because it is against the culture they are exposed to.

What are the greatest challenges in education today?

One of our greatest challenges is to help students to not always go along with the cultural demands of society. The media and all types of electronics that are children exposed today, are sometimes counter-cultural to what we believe are better choices in life. Another great challenge in Catholic education is to try to make it as affordable as possible so that as many parents who choose to have a Catholic education, have the opportunity.

What advice can you offer for someone who wants to go into education?

If a person loves children and have a love for learning, and if you choose to make a difference, they should go for it. We need great teachers. Children are our future!

What teaching moment is most memorable?

Since I am retiring after 33 years of education, I have many memories that I can hold to as I go into the next cycle of my life. Most of all, I will remember the children-some who struggled in school, but made it through, sometimes with great adversity in their lives. I will remember the many dedicated teachers and administrators that I have worked with. They are the ones who make the good things happen. They have been at our school because of dedication to the Catholic education. These people, many of whom I call friends, consider their job a ministry. I will remember the wonderful masses, the music, and prayer services that we have had at our school. Most of all I will remember the children.