At Alliance, we recognize the crucial role that positive role models play when they rise up from within our own communities. This month, we’re highlighting the thought leadership of Judy Ivie Burton, one of our network’s beloved founders who gave Alliance scholars a shining example of just how far a world-class education can take them in a supportive, equitable learning environment.
Judy Ivie Burton grew up in California and, as the product of segregated schools (in action if not in name), she was determined to gain access to the same activities as her White counterparts. She went on to graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), worked as an L.A. elementary school teacher and later became the superintendent of LAUSD, responsible for more than 80,000 students in Northeast Los Angeles! In her time as an educator, Burton came to believe that all students could learn at a high level. This was the kernel of an idea that expanded to the launch of Alliance in 2003.
Burton’s hands-on involvement helped build Alliance into the strong network of schools it is today. For her efforts, she was awarded the James E. Irvine Education Leadership Award from the Harvard Southern California Club in 2011, and received an honorary doctorate from Claremont Graduate University in 2011. Burton passed in 2017, but we continue her legacy every day as an example of what scholars can achieve within their communities. Her legacy also lives on at her namesake school, Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School.
Judy Burton believed that all children can succeed when they’re provided with the opportunity, the academic support, and the responsive learning environment in which to do so. Since her passing, Alliance has grown immensely in so many ways. Our scholars continue to exceed expectations and, when compared to their peers from similar backgrounds, blow the competition out of the water. Their continuing success and our growth as a network are proof of exactly what Judy Burton stood for. We’re so grateful every day for Judy’s contributions to our scholars, their families, and the communities we serve, and we’re proud to carry her legacy forward.