Downtown School Welcomes New Principal

Burnett DTS thumbnailThe Downtown School is welcoming a new principal. Robert Burnett, former principal at Walnut Street School, is taking over for Stephanie Flickinger, who has accepted the position of Assistant Principal at Brubaker Elementary, the district’s largest elementary school.

Burnett brings more than a decade of experience as an educator and administrator to his new role. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and holds two Master’s degrees; one in Special Education from Morningside College and one in Education Administration from Iowa State University. He’s also continued his education with three years of inquiry based, conceptual learning under the framework of International Baccalaureate programming.

“Rob Burnett is a perfect fit for the Downtown School community,” said Susan Tallman, Executive Director of Elementary Schools. “Rob has a deep understanding of developing critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration in a highly effective learning environment.”

Burnett has lived in the Des Moines area for most of his life. He started working as a teacher in 2006 at Capitol View Elementary School, where he also served as Dean of Students. He accepted the role of principal at Walnut Street School, an International Baccalaureate School, in 2014. The IB experience and Downtown School’s education model mirror and complement each other in many ways. The Downtown School is a Project Based Learning school with small class sizes in multi-age classrooms incorporating the latest education research and best practices in elementary education.

“I am honored and humbled to have been given the privilege of serving Downtown School,” Burnett said. “I’ve loved seeing our city grow and change into what it is today, and am proud to have a role in shaping its next population and leaders.”

Burnett started his position at Downtown School on July 17. He is also assisting with the transition at Walnut Street School during the search for his replacement.