Administrative Corner  

Michael Burd  Michael Burd, Principal

I am very pleased and excited to have the opportunity to introduce myself as the new principal of East Silver Spring Elementary School.  I am both honored and humbled to serve the students, staff, and families of East Silver Spring Elementary and to continue the tradition of excellence that has been established by the staff and community.  I am confident that as a united and collaborative school community, we will continue to make a difference in each child’s life.  

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.  I grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which is also the home of the Little League World Series.  I graduated from Williamsport High School in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and attended college at Shippensburg University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2003.   I began my teaching career at Round Hills Elementary, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, as a fourth grade teacher.  In 2005, I moved to Montgomery County and spent my first two years in MCPS as a third grade math and science teacher at Galway Elementary.  Next, I went to Stonegate Elementary where I taught both third and fourth grade for the next three years.  During that time period, I pursued a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Hood College.  After receiving my Master’s Degree, I began my administrative career as the assistant principal at Potomac Elementary, then Sherwood Elementary and Summit Hall Elementary.  This past year, I served as the Principal Intern at Captain James E. Daly, Jr. Elementary School in Germantown, MD. 

I currently live in Gaithersburg with my wife, Courtney, my three daughters, Jessica 16, Emily 13, and Chloe 4, and our two cats, Sheldon and Annie.  I am extremely proud of my family and love spending time with them.  I view the school community as an extension of family.  A family doesn’t have to have the same last name, look the same or be from the same place.  What is needed is to have one common goal in mind, and we will have that – the success of every student.  This sense of community will serve us well as we work together to meet the challenges of a new school year. 

As an instructional leader in MCPS for the past seven years, I have been able to shape my core values and fundamental beliefs that all students can achieve at high levels.  I have a commitment to rigorous high quality instruction for all students and have worked to help improve their instructional practices, which has resulted in significant increases in student performance.  As one of the leaders in the building, I plan to model transparency in order for all stakeholders to view me as a continuous learner.  I hope to help create a non-threatening, collaborative environment for teachers to develop relationships, examine instructional practices, increase capacity, and improve upon their teaching strategies and share best practices.

I plan to promote a positive school culture by being highly visible during the arrival and dismissal of students, at lunch and recess, at assemblies, and in classrooms and hallways during the school day.  My office door will always be open and I will always make myself available to all stakeholders to assure the safety and well-being of all students.                    

Michael Burd  

Principal, East Silver Spring Elementary School 

 Cat Burton pic 2018 Catherine Burton, Assistant Principal

Hello ESS families!  I am so very pleased to be serving as your Assistant Principal.  This past year, I have gotten to know many of you and your children.  It has been a wonderfully humbling experience; it is such a special privilege to be able to support our youngest scholars as they navigate through learning about themselves, each other, and the curriculum.  As I continue to serve ESS families, I hope to strengthen established relationships, as well as build new ones.


A little bit about me, I was born in Paris, France and moved to the United States at the age of eight.  I am a MCPS alum; I attended Summit Hall ES, Gaithersburg Middle and High Schools. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing from Salisbury University in December 2002.  After working in the marketing field for a few years, I decided to return to school to obtain a teaching certificate. As I returned to school, I also substitute taught in MCPS. I worked several long term jobs at Weller Road Elementary School in Silver Spring, MD.  This is where I began my teaching career. At Weller Road ES, I was able to develop my leadership skills through my role as a team leader. While there, I taught both Kindergarten and First Grade. I fell in love with the students and their families and wanted to do more for all students.  I completed my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College, and earned an Equity and Excellence in Education certificate while at Weller Road ES. Upon completing both programs, I felt it was time to experience other schools.  After five years, I transferred to Watkins Mill ES as a part-time pre-kindergarten teacher and part-time math interventionist (supporting grades K-1). In this capacity, I was able to lead teams to look more closely at data, and to use it to drive their instruction.  During the summers, I worked for Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL). In 2016, MCPS partnered with BELL to provide an extended day program for rising third through fifth graders who were performing two or more years below grade level. I lead the instructional programs at both Sargent Shriver ES (2016) and Stedwick ES (servicing students from Watkins Mill ES and South Lake ES, 2017).  In this capacity, I provided staff with program and curriculum training, monitored student progress, as well as maintaining the safety of all students.


I currently live in Clarksburg, Maryland with my husband Monty, my two children, Kai 6, Cami 4, and our terrier mix, Lexi 3.  My family means everything to me. When I am not at school, I am with my family. We love doing anything and everything together.  We love to experience and see what the world has to offer, and simply enjoy each other's’ company. Seeing life through our children’s eyes is a beautiful thing!  


During my years of employment with MCPS, I have built strong relationships with parents and communities.  I have worked closely with parents to solicit feedback about a variety of topics to ensure that their voices are heard.  I believe that our students’ rich and diverse backgrounds are what make them special and unique. I embrace differences, and encourage others to learn more about those around them. I believe that all students can achieve at high levels, and that it is our responsibility to help them get there.


This is the greatest work one can do.  The future of our students depends on the decisions we make today.  It is an honor to be a part of this work, and I look forward to continuing it and growing with your families.


Catherine Burton

Assistant Principal