(MOUNT OLIVET, KY) – Custodian Brandon Burden is an inspirational blueprint for how people should live their lives.
“Through his unwavering commitment to the students and staff, he epitomizes the true essence of servant leadership,” said Sanford Holbrook, superintendent of Robertson County Schools.
Burden was honored with the 2023-2024 Kentucky Education Support Staff Professional (KESSP) Award on Feb. 9.
The KESSP award was created in 2020 by Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman to recognize more than 46,000 classified school employees in Kentucky. Classified school employees serve in vital and often overlooked roles, from driving students to school to preparing their meals to working with partner agencies to ensure students’ vital needs are met.
“Within the short period, he managed to win over the entire school community through his infectious personality and unwavering work ethic,” said Holbrook. “His dedication to his tasks, no matter how trivial they may seem to some, was truly remarkable.”
During the 2015-2016 school year, Burden was a student who participated in the district’s Functional Mental Disabilities special education unit. The following school year he took on custodial work within the district as a part of his cooperative education program.
Holbrook said Burden has a passion for his community and school and is known for maintaining and upkeeping the school premises, organizing events and supporting teachers with administrative tasks.
“It is his unwavering commitment that allows the school to function smoothly and efficiently,” said Holbrook.
As a winner of the KESSP award, Burden’s name has been forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for consideration for the national 2024 Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award.
The RISE award, which recognizes classified school employees who have displayed excellence in serving students, was passed by Congress in 2019 and is overseen by the USED.
Holbrook said Burden continues to lead by example, becoming an inspiration for staff, students and educators.
“He consistently demonstrates his unwavering support and dedication by actively seeking opportunities to contribute to the betterment of our community,” said Holbrook. “His passion for volunteering and his desire to make a difference are truly inspiring and his impact is felt by all in Robertson County.”