Back to Normal or Back to Better: Featuring Tom Burton

Tom Burton, Joshua Stamper, Aspire: The Leadership Development Podcast, Teach Better, #AspireLead

After two years of new educational practices, are we trying to get back to normal or a way to get better? This week’s guest, Tom Burton, shares how going back to the way things were is not the best mindset. In his district, during the pandemic, they uncovered many inequitable practices that needed to be addressed and they are determined to find better practices moving forward. 

In this episode, we also discuss:

  • Creating diverse leadership teams
  • Leading regardless of your title
  • And partnering with businesses to serve the community 

About Tom Burton:

Mr. Tom Burton is the Superintendent of Princeton City Schools, located just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. Tom has been in administration since 1995 and has been in the Princeton district since 2015.  He is the author of “Mark of Leadership: Strategies for Leading with Purpose, Plans, and Passion.” Additionally, Tom has written articles for publications both in Ohio and nationally and a columnist for Middle Ground Magazine.

As superintendent, Tom lives out the Princeton mission to empower each student for college, career, and life success.  He celebrates the achievements of all students. His Business and Community Partnership Quarterly Breakfasts connect students with business leaders and foster conversations about the students’ courses and interests generating conversations about post-high school education and occupations.  Tom has been actively pursuing business/community partnerships and most recently hosted over 120 business community leaders at the quarterly breakfast.  Along with a talented staff, he is proud of the major increase in participation and looks forward to hosting over 200 leaders in the near future.


Tom’s support for the recently passed Ohio Alternate Pathways for Graduation and newly created Princeton Work Ethics Certificate is addressing the needs of students entering the workforce after high school.  In addition, Tom is encouraging internships at local businesses. “The business community is critical to Princeton as Princeton is critical to the business community.  Working together we each ensure that the future is strong not only for the district and region but the state and country as well.”


In July 2021, Tom was elected as one of three new members of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Educational Advisory Council. In this role, he will participate in discussions to help guide future strategies and inform the Education and Museum Outreach department’s effectiveness. He will make recommendations, provide feedback, and perspectives on community outreach, engagement, programming, curriculum, and technology.  Members are selected for this appointment for the value they place on the role of education, critical thinking, and lifelong learning.


He was named the 2018 Business Person of the Year through the Sharonville Chamber of Commerce.  Further, Tom was the winner of NASSP/MetLife Ohio Middle School Principal of the Year, Distinguished Young Alumni Award from Slippery Rock University. Additionally, he was selected as the recipient of the Gordan Vars Lifetime Achievement Award, Ohio Educator of the Year by the Ohio Middle Level Association and was inducted in both the Cleveland Heights High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame and John Carroll University Athletic Hall of Fame.


Tom is married to wife Franca, and they share the joy of raising three children, Cailey (2017 Princeton Graduate), Bryce (2019 Princeton Graduate), and Tommy (Class of 2022) as residents in Sharonville.


Follow Tom Burton:




Facebook:  Princeton City Schools 

Linkedin:  Tom Burton

YouTube: PrincetonVikings


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Joshua Stamper, Teach Better

Joshua Stamper, Teach Better

Contact Joshua Stamper  for presentations on Restorative Practices, Leadership Development, and Innovative campus systems.

Watch my session on Trauma Informed, restorative and social emotional practices at


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About the author, Joshua

Joshua Stamper is a middle school Assistant Principal for a North Texas School District, where he's had the amazing opportunity to work at four campuses, two districts, and with hundreds of students, teachers, and administrators. Prior to Joshua's current position, he was a classroom educator and athletic coach for 6 years working with students in grades 6-8.

In addition to his administrative position, Joshua is a podcaster, blogger, leadership coach and education presenter.

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