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Burke educator named state’s high school principal of the year

Principal Lindsa McIntyre oversaw Jeremiah E. Burke High School becoming the first high school in the state to shed its “underperforming” status.Globe Staff/File 2014

Lindsa McIntyre, principal of Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester, was named Thursday as the state’s high school principal of the year.

The honor, given to her by the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association, recognizes McIntyre’s exceptional leadership and work to create a safe and inclusive academic environment.

“The Burke is a cornerstone of the Grove Hall community and one of the Boston Public Schools’ hidden gems,” School Committee chairman Michael Loconto in a statement. “The school’s transformation is largely due to the thoughtful leadership of Dr. McIntyre.”

McIntyre — or Ms. Mac, as she’s known to students — graduated from Boston Public Schools and began her teaching career at the Burke in 1985. Before returning to lead the Burke in 2009, she was an administrator at City on a Hill Charter School in Roxbury, held a leadership role at the Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School in Dorchester, was the founding school leader at Boston Day Academy, and served as headmaster at Community Academy, an alternative BPS high school.

Since McIntyre became headmaster at the Burke, the school’s graduation rate has risen from 47 percent in 2012 to 78 percent in 2018, and out-of-school suspension rates have dipped. McIntyre credits this improvement to the collaborative staff culture and student support services.


In 2014, the Burke became the only high school in the state to ever shed its “underperforming” status. The next year, the Burke was awarded for its progress with a $100,000 School on the Move Prize by education nonprofit EdVestors.

McIntyre also oversaw the launch of the school’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which uses mentors to help keep at-risk students in school.

“I am honored,” said McIntyre in a statement. “When I became leader of the Burke, I understood it was important to motivate, encourage and inspire to generate will, not just for students, but staff as well.”


Mayor Martin J. Walsh congratulated her, saying “hundreds of Boston’s youths have benefited throughout the years from Dr. McIntyre’s compassionate stewardship, guidance, and focus on community building.”

McIntyre will formally receive the award at the annual Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association Leadership Institute in Hyannis on July 24. She will also be the state’s high school representative at the National Association of Secondary School Principals Institute and Recognition event this fall in Washington, D.C.

Ysabelle Kempe can be reached at ysabelle.kempe@globe.com.