In Richmond, there are various secondary schools that propose knowledge to students, but rarely do we come across a school that proposes educational leadership with passion. J.N. Burnett has been demonstrating that vital factor in the education of students for over a quarter of a century. For all these wonders that this school possesses, we can thank a brilliant pioneer; a man who revolutionized school and learning in our communities. We can thank John Napier Burnett.
Mr. Burnett was born in Scotland in the year of 1889. Due to the uprising of warfare and devastation, he migrated to Vancouver in 1911.
His educational career was filled with awards and recognitions. He completed his education in Vancouver attending school at King Edward High School and the Provincial Normal School. He sustained his education at the University of British Columbia and received the Khaki Scholarship for proficiency with first class honours, later becoming an associate of the Epsilon Delta Chapter, Phi Delta Kappa.
For the duration of his career, he recognized the importance of the needs of both teachers and students; as a result, he participated in the welfare of numerous educational organizations. His passion led him to the positions of the president of the B.C. Teachers Federation, president of the University of British Columbia Alumni Association, and a member of the UBC senate.
His successful years in administration at Burnaby and Vancouver led him to become an inspector of schools in the Cariboo and Okanagan area. In 1949, he was appointed to the Richmond district and was also director for University Hill, Delta, Sechelt and Alert Bay districts. His struggle to improve education in our communities was awarded when he was named District Superintendent of Schools for Richmond in 1955. After 25 years, it is relatively complicated to remember with any degree of precision all of the experiences that are associated with the opening of a new school. However, we must take a moment and think of the struggle previous generations and pioneers have made, leading to a revolutionized community of learning.