Burton Retires!


Tami Burton, Daughter Ashley and Grandson

Since the new year is just beginning, many are experiencing changes in their lives. This is especially true for retiring Centennial High School Lead Secretary, Tami Burton. 


Burton is a CHS graduate herself, graduating back in 1979. Her daughter Ashley also attended CHS and graduated in 2004.


Throughout her high-school-student time at CHS Tami  enjoyed going to football games and being part of the band. “I was very involved in the band,” she said. “We had a very big, like 150 piece band when I was there. We were very big, very competitive. We traveled constantly.” While being in the band, Burton played the clarinet and the saxophone. 


Last year was her 30th year working at CHS.”November 19th was the end of my 30th year…. I’ve been at the high school the whole 30 years I started out as an assistant in a classroom,” said Burton. Then I was an assistant that used to do state testing and I really liked that. They asked me to work in the office for the principal… I’m the principal’s secretary.”


Being the principal’s secretary is a job that takes a lot of precision and effort to get the job done, but Burton said that some things tend to be similar, on a day-to-day basis, but sometimes things are different. When school was still in in-person learning there were student assistants that helped around the office with things she needed help with. “Each period was different because each student has their own personality. I got to spend time with them, which I loved,” said Burton. 


“Throughout the years I’ve acquired some fabulous friendships… which has been wonderful. I’ve kept in touch with all my principals that I’ve worked for. They’ve all been so smart and so smart in different ways,” said Burton. “A lot of fabulous secretaries… I worked with some great people in the office and I’ve really enjoyed that a lot.”


Burton puts an emphasis on how incredibly helpful and intelligent the CHS teachers and staff have been when she was in need of help in understanding something. “I have so many smart people around me and it’s really great. Once in a while, if I have a question, I’ll go to somebody and have them explain it to me. It’s wonderful,” said Burton. 


Having diversity in the things she could do within her official job title was also very important to her. “I was grateful that as I was ready for something different, there was something different. I could move around a little bit and continue to learn,” said Burton. 


Before landing her place as Lead Secretary, Burton said that at first she was resistant to being part of the office team because it was a busy time for testing (this was when she was working as an assistant for state testing), but a friend of hers, who also happened to be working in the office, encouraged her to put in an application because she thought she’d be the perfect candidate for that position. 


Retiring this year did not come as a surprise. Burton said, “ I knew that I could retire a few years ago when I was looking at it. I had a goal of 30 years…. That’s why I waited.”


Burton married Stan Green in December, and there are a lot of exciting things Burton has planned for her life of retirement. She plans to sell a home and remodel the one she is going to be living in. “We’ve realized that we have two houses and we need to decide where we’re going to live…we’re going to remodel to house that we’re going to live in and I want to be a part of that. I want to be hands on with it and so this will give me the time to do that,” said Burton. 


She also brought up that once her house is all remodeled that she hopes to travel more. “We had a trip paid for to Washington D.C. and we had to cancel it because of COVID. We were going to go in June,” said Burton. “We are going to [see monuments] and my husband’s grandmother served in Congress for 20 years and he wants to show me things there…. I really can’t wait to see the cathedrals. I love church.” 


Aside from traveling around the United States, Burton said that she has also been outside of the country through going on cruises. Though her trip to Washington D.C. was cancelled, she hopes to visit the U.S. capitol at some point during her retirement. 


For current and future students, Burton hoped that students don’t only attend classes and do their homework, but that they get involved in activities around the school. Burton said, “It teaches you a lot about yourself to do things like that and being put into all these different experiences. I would say grab every experience you can and you’ll be way more ready to take on your roll as a college student or whatever you decide to do after high school.”


“Tami is the epitome of an Eagle, displays school pride and watches over her flock of students, teachers, administration, and even her own CHS child as a building mom for over 20 years,” said CHS English teacher Stacy Vanderpool. 


“Tami is wonderful and will be deeply missed. She is a CHS grad and she enthusiastically taught me the fight song when I first came on at CHS. She is supremely organized and I owe a tremendous amount of my success to Tami. She always held herself to a really high standard in her work,” said CHS principal Mairi Scott-Agurrie. “She is a listening ear to students and staff alike. She makes a point to helping new staff members get oriented to the school and district. She keeps a stash of food for hungry students. She lets me know about happy events and tragedies in staff members’ and students’ lives. Tami cares deeply about Centennial High School and everyone who is associated with Centennial High School.” 


Though Burton will be missed by the students, teachers, and other CHS staff she’s worked with, she hopes they all remember this about her: “I hope that they remember that I worked hard, that’s important to me. I hope that they remember that my job meant something important to me, and that I have deep Eagle roots and that meant something to me. I enjoyed all the experiences I’ve had. I’ve loved all the students I’ve met. And I’m grateful for the wonderful secretariat staff and administration that I’ve been able to work with, a very smart bookkeeper, just great teachers, and 30 years of where you never really know what’s coming next.”