How to Embrace Change with Retired General Christine M. Burckle

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Dustin Odham

Thought Leader for FranklinCovey Education
When I was a kid, my favorite Crayola color was sky blue, and my mission in life was to become a professional basketball player. I pursued that dream right up until I learned I was “not fast or quick, but determined and a great team player.” Yes, that was a real evaluation I was given during my AAU days. I decided to play to my strengths instead, and retired from the prep basketball scene with what I feel was a tasteful lack of fanfare. Since then, my mission statement has been to make a positive and lasting impact in the life of every person I meet. Every single day. I have spent my career trying to help unleash greatness in everyone I am privileged to work with and for. My commitment to that mission statement became more nuanced when I began teaching high school math at a school with a significant achievement gap. I was learning just as much as my students were, and there were certainly rough patches at the beginning. But in the end, our students outpaced the entire district in academic growth. Repurposing that childhood dream, I also coached girls basketball and regularly demonstrated that I had not, in fact, grown faster or quicker with age. It was during this period that I won St. Louis Region Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for a National Teacher of the Year award. As I continued to look for ways to make a positive and lasting impact on my community, I took a job as executive director of a teacher training program. My team increased our teacher pool from 75 to 200, impacting hundreds of schools and thousands of students. Then, as a turnaround specialist with St. Louis Public Schools, I helped create our Office of Innovation, enabling our lowest performing schools to get accredited. In the private sector, as a turnaround performance consultant, I led projects with district superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals and teachers to help turn their student academic performance around and transform their school communities. It was also during this time that I really perfected my karaoke version of “Friends in Low Places.” I continued this work at FranklinCovey Education as a Client Partner, where our team partnered with educators to unleash the potential of thousands of administrators, teachers, and parents – impacting tens of thousands of students in hundreds of cities across three states. As a Managing Director for the Southeast United States and Canada regions, I now support our client partners as they work to do the same all across North America. This is a far cry from a career as an NBA superstar. But I’ve loved my life, and all the people in it – most especially my amazing wife Ashley and my three boys Luke, Noah, and our baby, James, who was born in the middle of the pandemic. Every twist and turn has led me here, and I am grateful for each of them. My favorite Crayola color is still sky blue, and I’ve finally found a sport (golf) that does not depend on speed or quickness. I hope this podcast is a force for lasting, positive change for the guests, and for anyone who tunes in. I’m honored that you’ve taken the time to tune in.

General Christine M. Burckle

Retired General
Brig. Gen. Christine M. Burckle was the Assistant Adjutant General - Air and also served as the Commander of the Utah Air National Guard.  She was responsible for the command, control and operations of plans and programs for more than 1,400 Utah Air National Guard personnel located at the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Her broad range of responsibilities included ensuring combat readiness and mission capability of the 151st Air Refueling Wing, which included three additional mission sets: the 109th Air Control Squadron, the 130th Engineering Installation Squadron, and the 151st Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Group.  She was also responsible for working with a wide variety of Federal, State and local authorities in all aspects of the operations, personnel, equipment and funding of the Utah Air National Guard. General Burckle was commissioned in 1988 through the Reserve Officer Training Corp at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  She graduated first in her Undergraduate Navigator Training class at Mather AFB, Calif. in 1990, and served over eight years in the active Air Force at Carswell AFB, Texas and Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.  In August 1996, she joined the Utah Air National Guard as a KC-135 Navigator.  She deployed for Operations Desert Shield/Storm, Uphold Democracy, Joint Forge, Allied Force, and Enduring Freedom.  She was also activated for Operation Noble Eagle.  General Burckle has over 3000 flying hours in the KC-135. Prior to her current position, General Burckle was the Director of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Utah Air National Guard. She retired in October 2019.
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