Real People

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 4, 1999

By DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / January 4, 1999

Irene Burl has been teaching for 25 years and is still loving every minute of it.

“I love children,” said Burl, 45, who teaches social studies at Leon Godchaux Junior High. “I work to motivate students and give them apositive attitude about life.”That philosophy holds true in other areas of Burl’s life as well.

Burl’s father was killed when she was 7, and she was raised by her grandmother. She knows firsthand what it’s like to overcome tragedy andbe successful in life.

She wants to help her students understand that they, too, can overcome obstacles such as poverty or family problems.

“I tell them that with God on their side they can make it,” she said.

As president of the Usher Board at Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church inGaryville, Burl helps coordinate a local parade for children.

“I do everything I can for the kids,” she said. “I go down and pull up thosethat are striving.”Besides her responsibilities as a teacher, Burl sponsors the Social Studies Club at Leon Godchaux.

“Many of my students don’t go anywhere,” she said. “Every year I takethem on field trips to local landmarks to give them an opportunity they don’t usually have.”A few years ago, Burl took students to Washington D.C. to witness theinauguration of President George Bush.

Burl lives with husband Albert in Mt. Airy. They have four children and onegrandchild.

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