Davis Aerospace & Maritime High School
9th Grade English
“Darlene is an expert and her students know it! Building on her career in journalism, she involve her scholars in a project-based curriculum that engages not only them, but their families and the community. … Students who have her as a teacher truly have a gift.”
Darlene Burks teaches 9th grade English at Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School. She holds a journalism degree from Kent State University and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from the University of Phoenix.
Darlene’s passion to help prepare youth for success led her to obtain an alternative teaching license. Darlene creates fun classroom experiences using IXL. She utilizes the leaderboard, teams, or jam sessions to create excitement around mastering skills in reading and writing strategies, vocabulary, and grammar. She also creates an engaging curriculum that allows students to showcase their talents. During her literary elements unit, she uses popular short stories, such as Gift of the Magi and The Cask of Amontillado, and short films provided by the Cleveland International Film Festival to teach the elements. The unit culminates in the Freshmen Short Film and Short Story Festival with stories and films created by students. She also provides students an opportunity to showcase their poetic skills with a Poetry Slam after the poetry unit. Students are celebrated with awards at both events.
Darlene believes that her high expectations and celebratory classroom environment help her students achieve. Darlene’s curriculum helped her students, the class of 2025, rank in the 99th percentile for growth on the NWEA nationally. Darlene is married to Shon Burks, and they have a two-year-old daughter, Grace. Darlene is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc.