Ross Burkhardt

Wading River, NY | Years Taught: 1962 – 1997

Ross helped found the Shoreham-Wading River Middle School, a national model of middle level excellence. “Mr. B’s” classroom is a cacophony of visual stimuli — movie posters, laminated front pages, magazine covers, sports heroes, music groups, quotation, and faces of the famous and not-so-famous. All decorated by the outgoing eighth grade for the next class to come. Couches and easy chairs, plus a fridge, microwave, CD player and radio add creature comforts. Students “strike the set” at the close of the year to help them understand their middle school career was all but over. His teams begin the year with a three-day field trip to the Poconos for canoeing, orienteering, square dancing, hiking, and bonding. In June the team visits Boston for three days of celebration and closure.

Additional Recognition

  • 2009 • Published: “Inventing Powerful Pedagogy: Share, ‘Steal,’ Revise, Own”; National Middle School Association
  • 2003 • Published: “Writing for Real: Strategies for Engaging Adolescent Writers”; Stenhouse Publishers
  • 1998 • The New York State Middle School Association created ‘The Ross M. Burkhardt Middle-Level Education Award’, given annually to educators in New York State who have made significant contributions to the field of middle-level education
  • 1995-96 • President, National Middle School Association
  • 1991-97 • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Early Adolescence Generalist Committee
  • 1991, 1996 • Man of the Year in Education Times-Beacon, Port Jefferson, NY
  • 1983-85 • President, New York State Middle School Association