Burnette Elementary School
3221 McGinnis Ferry Road; Suwanee, GA 30024
Years Principal 2010–2021 Kimberly Reed 2021- Present Dr. Sally Lehmann
School Colors: Blue and White (with a Red accent)
School Mascot: The Lions
Board of Education
Daniel D. Seckinger - Chairman
Dr. Mary Kay Murphy - Vice Chairman
Dr. Robert McClure
CEO/Superintendent: J. Alvin Wilbanks
Architect: CDH Partners, Inc.
Contractor: Doster Construction Company, Inc.
Dedication Date: 2010
Burnette Elementary opened its doors in August of 2010. The school held a dedication ceremony, celebrating the opening of the new school on November 7, 2010.
The school is named after the Burnette family— a family in the area that has a long history that can be traced to the early 1500s in Scotland. The family home, Crathes Castle, was deeded to the family by Robert the Bruce and is located outside Aberdeen, Scotland. Relics of the family can still be viewed in the home, now a property of the Scottish Trust and open to the public.
The Burnette family’s history in the New World began in 1638 when King Charles I of England granted a trading license to John Burnette to settle in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia. Over the years, the family grew and migrated southward as American Indian lands began to fill with European settlers. Alexander Burnette was the first of the family to settle in Gwinnett County in what was to become the town of Suwanee. When the Civil War came, Alexander served for the Army of the Confederacy. When the war ended, Alexander and his wife, Mary Jane (McCommon), farmed the land, growing cotton and food for their family of four children: John, Fannie, James Jeremiah, and Lee. The children grew, and, eventually, James Jeremiah inherited the homestead after the death of his brother, John, and the marriages of his sister. His brother Lee moved to Texas as the western frontier began to open after the Civil War.
James Jeremiah Burnette married Cleo Lockridge, a member of a prominent Suwanee family, and continued to farm the family homestead. They had eight children: Ira, Leonard, Howard, Mary, Lee Odus, Briscoe, Katie Mae, and Montine. Their children went on to serve their communities in many roles of leadership. Some were educators, some worked in the local factories of General Motors and Bona Allen Tannery. Katie Mae was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and an educator who raised a family of teachers who served Gwinnett and other north Georgia counties. Ira’s son, James, became Mayor of Suwanee and served with honor in World War II. Briscoe worked at Bona Allen Tannery, served on the City Water Commission that brought running water to the town, and cut hair on Saturdays for extra money. Leonard moved to Florida and worked in the Tampa Water Department. James Jeremiah and Cleo instilled in their children a sense of service to others that was passed down to generations of Burnettes through their children and their children’s children.
Today, the Burnette descendants are teachers, lawyers, doctors, college professors, artists, and civic leaders in their hometowns. They continue the family’s tradition of service to others, extending the Burnette legacy of being people with “servant hearts” who devote their lives to the betterment of their communities.
Members of the family took part in the Burnette Elementary dedication and continue to play a role in the school through volunteering their time, sponsoring programs, and giving to the Burnette Family Foundation fund which supports educational initiatives.
Burnette is a part of the Peachtree Ridge Cluster. Since Burnette’s opening, administrators within the cluster have worked as a team to provide the highest level of instruction for all students.
Burnette’s motto is Instructing at the Highest Level, Achieving Beyond Belief. Just a few examples of the achievement reached by students and staff include 2016 and 2017 Gwinnett County Spelling Bee champion; 3rd place finisher in the 2016 National Geographic Bee, a Green & Healthy School honoree, and a silver medal winner and place on the 2016 Governor’s SHAPE Honor Roll.
Students also benefit from a number of clubs and activities including Art Club, Chorus, Technology Club, Minecraft Club, Robotics Club, PE Club, Science Club, School Council, Witzzle Pro Math Club, Readers Rally Club, Geo Club, and Safety Patrols.
The school’s PTA has raised money to fund school improvements as well as in-house field trips, cultural arts events, and classroom resources and materials. The PTA also sponsors events including the school dance, pizza bingo, spring carnival, and Reflections and cultural arts events.
Since the school opened, Burnette staff has worked hand-in-hand with parents, business partners, and the community to ensure its students are provided with a plethora of opportunities to stretch their minds, think critically, collaborate with peers, problem solve, and build character. All stakeholders continue to work together to make Burnette Elementary an exceptional school where teaching and learning occur at the highest level each and every day