CORNWALL, Ontario – Katie Burke of the Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise was recently recognized with Rotary’s “Service Above Self”. This is the highest honour a Rotarian can receive and recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”, by volunteering their time and talents in the service of others. The award is internationally competitive and is granted to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide in any year, In addition to service contributions to Rotary, consideration is given to the recipient’s community and professional activities.
Katie Burke, born in northern Quebec, attended Marianopolis College/University of Montreal and earned her B.A. Degree at English literature, then a B.Ed. at the University of Toronto and her Master of Arts degree in English from Carleton University. Katie taught English, French and drama before becoming vice-principal at General Vanier Secondary School and then principal at Central Public School and later at St. Lawrence High School until her retirement.
She is married and the mother of two children and four grandchildren, and resides in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She became a Rotarian in 1996 and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise, and has been active in many roles in District 7040.
Her Rotary Service Activities include conscientious dedication to many district roles and tasks, including serving as District Governor (2010-11) and the committee chair for Volunteer Recruitment for the Rotary International Convention in Montreal (2010). She led a group of young professionals to the Caribbean (2003). More recently, she serves as a grants management instructor for French speaking Rotarians and as a member of the district’s training team. She has been actively involved as a member of the district’s translation committee and the Member Support Committee for French Rotary Clubs. Katie and Brian have hosted three Rotary Youth Exchange students and Katie has visited her own club’s projects in Ghana and Central America several times. She has chaired the Adventures in the Environment, a district wide program for high school youth contemplating a career in environmental sciences. Additionally, in her own club she is now chairing the Fundraising committee.
For many years, Katie has been very active in our community. She currently serves as chair of the fundraising committee for the new Cornwall Arts and Culture Centre. She has served as a board member of the St. Lawrence Institute of Environmental Sciences for several years. She is a founding member and active on the local “Take a Veteran to Dinner” program honoring her country’s military. She is a founding member of the Vagabond Theatre group; and continues to actively direct and produce plays highlighting Canadian playwrights. She is a long- time member of the local arts and culture community.
Those who have met or worked with Katie recognize her sincere dedication and loyalty to each cause as well as her wit and friendly nature.