Kerri's Story

"About 15 years ago, I realized that my life felt a little too comfortable. I had been fast tracked in my career and I knew I didn't want to be this comfortable forever. So I explored growth opportunities which took me to Caribbean, NYC, Detroit, Baltimore and rural Illinois. My partner and I eventually landed in San Antonio, Texas.  Read on to see the milestones that influenced my philosophy and development of North Star Coaching.

"In all of those moves, I was fortunate to lead as principal in the Caribbean, serve as administrator in a middle school designated as 'persistently dangerous' and 'failing' in NYC, coached inner-city educators in Detroit, and taught master level classes for the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University and Johns Hopkins. 

"I quickly saw that structures drive behavior. By that, I am referencing the 'persistently dangerous' kids in NYC who were not bad as much as they were expected to be bad with that label. As an example of how structures drive behaviors, the 'persistently dangerous' school was on a fifth floor walk-up near Central Park. On the first four floors, there were two other schools that were clean, had air conditioning, and happy children's work on the walls. Pretty hard for my students to walk up all of those stairs in to a humid, stuffy school without having some behavioral reactions. 

 

"In Detroit I coached teachers who worked in similarly tough schools.  Here I observed high school students who sat in desks from the 1950s and looked at windows that were boarded up with plywood. No surprise, those structures also influenced behavior.

"From there, I moved to Baltimore where I taught Master-level courses at Johns Hopkins and this challenged her to think differently about online learning.  As a skeptic of online learning, Kerri realized that it is possible to set up online learning where students can apply learning in ways that impact their practice.

The next chunk of time was spent in rural Southern Illinois.  In my role as Director of Organizational Development in a healthcare setting, I explored structures that bridged the cultures of loyalty and accountability. 

"So what does it look like when we have positive structures? We thrive. That's the role of North Star Coaching. We help you identify where you want to go, how you will get there, and hold you accountable to be your best. We believe in you!"

— Kerri Burchill, PhD, President & Owner

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