Board Member: Anita Burnette
Serving District: 2
Email: adburnet@volusia.k12,
Phone: 386-279-1938
Member since: 2020
Term: 2020-2024

In November 2020, Anita Burnette became one of two newly elected board member of Volusia County Schools, joining Carl Persis on the panel. Burnette had been a student in the system herself, having grown up in Daytona Beach. She is a graduate of Mainland High School.

Burnette attended Daytona State College/Halifax School of Radiologic Technology and earned her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences Radiology from the University of Central Florida. She also holds a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Health Sciences-Leadership. She has worked at Halifax Health for 29 years, serving as coordinator of interventional radiology since 2002.

Burnette lives in Port Orange with her husband, Don, and has two grown sons, both of whom graduated from Volusia County Schools. 

VOLUSIA PARENT: Why did you want to run to become a school board member?

AB: I’m not a politician. I’m never [going to] pretend to be a politician. But I have always been involved in the community. And I have always been a very involved parent when my kids were in school. And so I said, it is a good way to give back to the schools and still be involved in the schools and involved in the community. And I committed to doing it.

VP: What did you learn during your campaign from your constituents?

AB: What I learned is people have lost trust, and they just want to be able to trust somebody. And I’m a pretty honest person. And I feel like while I was campaigning with people, really, they just want[ed] trust, and they want[ed] to be able to believe in something.

VP: What were some of your campaign issues, and how will you fulfill them?

AB: Again, trust and trust and communication. I try to always be [as] honest as possible. I do know that there’s certain things with being an elected official, you can’t just come out and say you have to, being that there’s Sunshine Laws and whatnot, but so I just want to be an honest person and I want to try to be part of a changing culture.

VP: How has your career in healthcare prepared you as a school board member?

AB: I’ve been in leadership with Halifax Hospital for 18 years, and I’ve been at the hospital just shy of 30 years.  I’m a stable person. Whenever I think there’s something better out there, I try to work through problems. I try to involve my team with the process. When you start involving the team with the process, and they feel like they have ownership in it, that helps. When you want to change a culture, part of it is bringing all the people in to help be part of that positive change.

VP: What does the school system get right, right now?

AB: I think that they have some great employees and educators in the system. And I think they have a lot of people who really do truly care about the kids. And when they truly care, that’s what’s keeping them here… So I think that, that we have some great teachers, educators, staff, I don’t want to leave anybody out.

VP: What are some areas for improvement?

AB: Well, one of the things is the culture. And we’ve already spoken [about] that, and I know that the school district has spoken of that. And I think that the culture is a big issue that we need to change and encourage people to be part of a solution.  I always encourage my employees that when we’re looking at something I want their opinion. And I let them know, it’s not just so that I can say I did it, [it’s] because I really value their opinion.

VP: What would you like your legacy with the school board to be?

AB: I’d like it to be that Anita was part of the process to bring about a positive culture and a positive change. And I’m not saying that we don’t have that, that we’re a complete mess. Please don’t think that that. But I do think that we just, we’ve gotten a little astray. And we need to come back to core values of trust.

Patrick Evans-Hylton is an award-winning journalist, having covering a wide variety of topics in broadcast, electronic, and print media since 1995. Read about him at

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