Meet the Principal

  • Our Mission


    Develop every child as an educated, responsible citizen for a changing world.

    Welcome to Burruss Elementary


    Dear Burruss Families,


    Welcome Back!

    I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer. I also hope you are relaxed, recharged and ready to start a new school year. I am so delighted that you are part of our incredible community. I welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education, and I look forward to working with you and your children.

    Our talented and devoted staff is already planning and preparing for your child(ren). Our enthusiastic office team is registering new families, ordering needed materials and updating student files. Our hard working and conscientious custodians have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning the facility. And, our much-appreciated PTA has decorated the front office, the teacher’s lunch room, and is gearing up to welcome families, provide volunteer opportunities, and offer other exciting events and programs. We are indeed a warm and caring community with the common goals of nurturing responsible, caring students and fostering growth for all students.


    New Staff

    Each year brings positive change. This includes a few additions to our staff, starting with me as your new principal! I am honored and thrilled to lead this dear school that we all love. We are delighted to welcome several new staff members!

    Celis Hartley-Lewis, Assistant Principal

    Hannah Alexander, 5th grade Teacher

    Rebecca Dudley, 5th grade Teacher

    Mario Mohorn, 5th grade Teacher

    Caida Mendelsohn, 3rd grade Teacher

    Tamla Chambless, 3rd grade Teacher

    Dana Lawhon, 2nd grade Teacher

    Stephen Magwood, Physical Education Teacher

    Laura Duvall, Spanish Teacher

    Serena King, Office Clerk

    Yolanda Williams, Office/Data Clerk

    Stephanie Platek, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

    Chelsea Brady, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

    Bonnie Mako, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

    Sasha Tutt, Kindergarten Paraprofessional


    Student Placement

    A great deal of time, effort, and thought has gone into the process of student placement for the 2018-19 school year. Careful consideration was given to input from staff and families as well as student learning styles. Classrooms have been balanced academically and socially. Our class lists are structured to provide equitable class sizes at each grade level.  Moving students is difficult without causing imbalances and inequities.

    Thank you so much for being positive with your child and helping him or her understand that it is impossible to place all students with a preferred best friend or teacher. ALL of our staff works hard to make school a positive experience for ALL students. Thank you for understanding that it can take a few weeks for a child to acclimate to a new grade, peer group and teacher.


    School Hours:  8:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

    In the interest of safety, do not drop off your children before 8:00AM, as there is no supervision before that time. Students who are not in classrooms by 8:30 are missing out on valuable learning time and are considered tardy. Tardy students must be signed in at the front office by a family member. Also, please be sure to pick up your children by 3:30PM in the afternoon.


    If you need before- or after-school care, please register at Marietta Community Schools, which provides care from 6:30am-6:30pm each day. Families must register every year!


    Click here for more information about Before and After School Programs:


    Cafeteria Information:

    All students will receive FREE breakfast daily. Breakfast is served in the cafeteria starting at 8:00 a.m.  Remember, breakfast is an important start to everyone’s day.  Lunch is $2.35 per student per day. Wondering what’s for lunch? Download the MealViewer app on Apple or Android devices!


    If you need assistance for free or reduced-price lunch, you may apply online here, or see the front office for an application, or meet our Nutrition department in the cafeteria during Sneak-a-Peek.


    School Supply List:

    School supply lists for each grade level are available in the office and also posted on our school’s website:



    • Burruss Express envelopes will come home from your child’s teacher every Thursday. Please sign and return on Fridays!
    • Expect a First Friday newsletter each month via email.
    • Teachers send out various forms of communication, including paper newsletters, email newsletters, phone calls home, progress reports, etc.
    • Follow us on social media! Check out posts using our hashtag for this year: #HereWeGrowatALB




    October Dates


    Thank you to all who are helping prepare for the new school year. I eagerly look forward to greeting students and families as your proud new principal. Together, I know we will make this school year one of growth for all children.

    Warm Regards,          

    Dr. Jillian Johnson


    A.L. Burruss Elementary







    My Vision

    I picture A.L. Burruss Elementary as a place where children build memories and build futures.  Students look forward to coming to the school where they feel safe, happy, and challenged every day.  The community looks to the school with pride knowing children receive a solid foundation in the fundamental tools of learning: reading, writing, mathematics and higher level thinking skills. 
    Every individual, including students and adults, is respected and valued.  Every individual is provided stimuli to grow and learn at a challenging pace and with supports appropriate to that individual.  Individuals are empowered to pursue what fulfills them and to contribute in a positive way to the lives of others. 
    Teachers have ample resources including access to data and research, time to work collegially, and materials for teaching.  Teachers embrace their professional responsibilities with zeal because they know they have the power to influence the future of every child they touch.  Teachers maintain high expectations and support students as they learn. 
    A focus on how to collect, organize and share information has replaced the more traditional model of covering content in science and social studies.  Students learn how to develop questions and look for answers from many resources and through experimentation.  They seek to make applications of their learning to present day situations.  Technology plays an important role in the learning process.
    There are no artificial barriers to prevent students from recognizing their potential regardless of the ability of the student.  Flexible grouping and scheduling, creative approaches to providing instruction, and differentiation designed to challenge every child provide equal access to optimal learning.  The majority of instruction takes place in heterogeneous groups with inclusion as the most frequent model for providing special services to special needs students.
    Students learn to communicate effectively in writing and verbally.  They learn to work well with others regardless of personal differences.  Additionally, students learn to present ideas graphically so they can communicate their ideas efficiently to others.  Technology is a common communication tool used by teachers and students alike.
    Students learn respect for others and for the world around them.  They learn the importance of taking responsibility and having the initiative to make a difference.  They realize school provides only a beginning for their learning, tools to help them learn throughout their lives.  Many will have careers that have not yet been imagined.
    Teachers and students embrace their task of preparing for a future that is changing more quickly than our traditional curriculum has evolved.  The forward thinking vision of the school community will produce responsible leaders who will be prepared for success in a rapidly changing world.

    Our Principal

    Jillian Johnson joined A.L. Burruss Elementary School in 2016 as the assistant principal, following twelve years of service in Fulton County Schools as an English teacher and assistant principal at the high school and elementary school level. Her career began teaching 8th grade Language Arts and Reading for eight years before moving to Riverwood High School to serve as the English Department Chair for two years, after which she was named an assistant principal.


    Dr. Johnson grew up in Dalton, Georgia, and attended college at the University of Georgia where she majored in English Education. Three years later, she earned her master’s degree in Reading Education from Mercer University. In December 2017, she graduated from the University of West Georgia in her doctorate in School Improvement, with a focus on educational administration. These experiences give Dr. Johnson a unique K-12 perspective on the needs of learners and how our school can meet those needs.


    Dr. Johnson believes that the school community is vital to its success, academically and socially. Partnerships with families and community members enrich the experience as a student and staff member at A.L. Burruss Elementary, where we strive to meet the needs of every child, every day.


    During her free time, Dr. Johnson enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, playing with her two daughters, and spending time with her husband.