Melisa Burgess named new principal of Morris Hill Elementary School

FORT RILEY, Kan. — Melisa Burgess is the new principal of Morris Hill Elementary School on Fort Riley for the 2021-2022 school year.

Burgess is a Junction City native and graduated from Junction City High School. She attended Barton County Community College and Kansas State University to receive her teaching degree. She did her student teaching at Morris Hill.

“It’s a fun, full circle to come back to,” she said.

After student teaching, she taught at Milford Elementary School, then completed her master’s degree and taught at Fort Riley Elementary School, where she was an instructional coach for a few years. Since she has held the position of assistant principal at Fort Riley Elementary School for the last six years.

“The staff at Morris Hill and Mrs. Laster have been very welcoming,” Burgess said. “I’ve been able to come up and meet people. The transition has just been ideal.”

Burgess said one of her goals right now is to meet with staff and get to know them. She also wants to build leadership within the staff, make sure parents are involved, and bring families back into the school building.

“I don’t plan to go in and make a bunch of changes, because it’s a successful school,” she said.

Burgess said she feels blessed to work on Fort Riley.

“I’ve always said that military kids are the most resilient kids I have ever met,” she said. “That’s where I would prefer to be because of the amount of support from families.”

She said she was humbled to see the amount of support from the military families over the past year, like bringing in food for teacher appreciation.

“I really appreciate military families,” she said. “And when you’re getting ready to lose them to PCS-ing [Permanent Change of Station], another great family comes in.”

Burgess said she has a message for the incoming students and their families.

“I will continue to care for you as Mrs. Laster has,” Burgess said. “I’m just very excited.”

For inquiries, please contact Monica Springer, Marketing and Media Specialist for Geary County Schools USD 475, at