Our Founder

Betty Burney

Betty Seabrook Burney, founder and Executive Director of the “I’M A STAR” Foundation, is committed to empowering and equipping youth to transform themselves into solutions-oriented leaders in their schools and respective communities. Burney is a former Duval County School Board member who joined the Duval County School Board in November 2004 and held the distinction of serving as a two time Board Chairman (2006 and 2011) and a two-time Vice Chairman (2005 and 2010). At the end of her term as School Board Chairman, Duval County achieved the distinction of having all chronically low performing schools exit the state of Florida’s intervene list.

Burney serves as a consultant for the Center for Reform of School Systems where she works with School Boards and Superintendents to provide technical assistance on governance strategies and practices designed to impact student achievement and to narrow the academic achievement gap. Her expertise has been shared with the following school districts:

• Houston Independent School District
• Corsicana Independent School District (Corsicana, TX)
• Tyler Independent School District (Tyler, TX)
• Prince Georges County School District (Prince Georges, MD)
• Richmond School District (Richmond, VA)
• Syracuse County School District (Syracuse, NY)
• Memphis School District (Memphis, TN)
• Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (Charlotte, NC)
• New Orleans Parish School District (New Orleans, LA)
Betty Burney’s STARS Praised By Duval County School Board Chairman.

About Our Founder

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In 2013, Betty was asked by management of the WCGL radio station to serve as a community service radio talk show host; The Betty Burney Empowerment Hour, a live radio talk show,  empowered  the community with information.  She is formerly the Executive Director of The Project Reach Foundation, Inc. and served as owner/director of Kidsville Learning Center, Inc. for 14 years. Burney is a Raines High School graduate, holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University.

 Mrs. Burney is a motivational speaker and author of the nationally-recognized book, “If These Chains Could Talk” which is comprised of letters of advice from incarcerated inmates ages 13-18.   She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, NAACP Education Committee, and serves on numerous boards and committees.  Most recently Burney served as a member of Jacksonville’s Consolidation Task Force Committee to review the city’s current form of government and offer solutions for improvement.