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John Burke

Lexington City Council


Early voting starts April 28th through May 14th @ Davidson County Board of Elections 945 N Main St, Suite A Lexington
Monday - Friday 4/28 to 5/3 8am-7:30pm    Saturdays 5/7 & 5/14 8am-3pm



John is committed to a community that:

Sustains Economic Development

Embraces Education

Facilitates Safe and Healthy Living

Strengthens Connections Across the Community

John understands there is a diverse group of citizens with diverse needs across our community.  He believes that in order to be our best, we must be taking all those needs into perspective.

As a representative for Ward 4 John will first seek to strengthen his awareness and understanding of the complex activities involved with managing a city.  He will seek to understand the decisions of the past, how they have helped get us to the present, and what decisions are critical to our future success.  John understands the enormous responsibility it is to make the best decisions for Lexington.  He understands and is committed to the hard work and dedication required to help arrive at that those decisions.  John believes that in order to address many of the issues facing our community, relationship building among all citizens is the most important initiative.



John Burke is the son of Dr. James and Gayle Ward Burke and the youngest of four children. His family has a long history of dedication and service in the Lexington community. John is fortunate to have parents who have instilled in him the value of service, hard work, and compassion.  John's older siblings, Lisa, Abby, and Jimmy serve as mentors to him throughout his life.

John graduated from Lexington Senior High School in 1986, then attended UNC Wilmington where he graduated with a B.S. of Science in 1990. After college, he worked for the National Marine Service, where he spent a lot of time on the fishing boats in Alaska. His work also allowed John the opportunity to travel and explore abroad. John decided to his continue education and received a Masters in Civil Engineering from NC State University in 1993. He then moved back to Lexington, NC and married the love of his life, Beth Biesecker Burke, in 1996 and together they raised three boys, Coty, Jack and Will.

Early in his career John was employed as an environmental engineer with the state of North Carolina. John provided technical assistance to hundreds of businesses across North Carolina.  John transitioned into the private sector and has been employed as the Environmental, Health, and Safety manager as well as an Environmental Engineer for several manufacturing companies.  John has worked for Gilbarco, Inc. in Greensboro for the last 10 years.

Beth graduated from Lexington Senior High School in 1990 and has worked within the medical field for twenty-six years. She is currently employed by Atrium Health Wake Forest Women’s Services and is also a tireless advocate and friend to many of our citizens who struggle with life, homelessness and addiction. Coty Burke, the oldest of their boys, graduated with honors from Lexington Senior High School in 2010 and with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014 with a B.S. degree in Psychology. Coty was the co-creator of “Young Innovators” in 2018, a leadership program for students across Davidson County. Recently, he established a startup business, K12 Computers, that assists school systems with the recycle management of their computers and other electronics. Jack received his Eagle Scout and graduated with honors from Lexington Senior High School in 2018 and is graduating from Appalachian State University in May of 2022 with a degree of Sustainable Development. Will currently attends Lexington Senior High School and will graduate in May of 2022. Will recently received Dean’s list recognition for his course work at Davidson-Davie Community College.  Will is attending UNC-Wilmington in the Fall.​

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Habitat for Humanity

Since returning to Lexington, John has remained committed to serving the community through leadership and/or volunteering in over 20 community organizations. In 1997, he began working with Habitat for Humanity and was the project manager for the Grace Episcopal Church's effort to build the first of thirteen Habitat homes in Koinonia Village. It was during his time with Habitat that John learned the value of homeownership and its benefit to children’s success in life. 

John went on to become the President of Habitat for Humanity of Lexington, helping to expand its partnerships with local churches within Davidson County. He was also an integral player in creating Habitat's first Executive Director position to ensure their continued success.

Several years later John returned as a project manager for Grace Church to build the thirteenth and final Habitat home in Koinonia Village.

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Communities in Schools

John served on the board of Communities In Schools (CIS) and became a lunch buddy to several students. Through this experience, he gained a better insight of the lives of the students attending Lexington's public schools.

John was able to recognize the value that mentoring, relationship building, and education had in creating opportunities for our children's success. His work with CIS also heightened his experience in engaging local business and community members to support the program's efforts


John also served on the Davidson County Community College Foundation Board of Directors during this time.

Coaching, Scouts and Fundraising

John has always been a committed volunteer in relation to his children’s activities. Whether it was coaching, school PTOs, Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts, or fundraising events, he was willing to step up and serve in a leadership position.

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Lexington City Planning and Board of Adjustment

John served as a member of Lexington City Planning and Board of Adjustment, taking part in many significant projects, including the development of the Park Place Historic District and the naming of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. John gained a tremendous awareness of the leg work and communication required to effectively move projects forward. When asked about it, John explains that seconding the motion to approve the MLK Jr. street renaming recommendation to the Lexington City Council was a very important moment in his life.

Lexington City School Board of Education

One of the most impactful and life-changing roles for John was his seven years on the Lexington City School Board of Education.  During this time John served as chair and vice-chair.  Throughout his time on the board, John gained a greater appreciation of the many barriers that exist for our children's success, how hard our school staff works to ensure that students have the best opportunity to succeed, and how much we continually add community support activities on the shoulders of our staff.

John’s service on the LCS Board of Education has helped him develop many skills important for a community leader, including;

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  • responding quickly and compassionately to the concerns of our community,

  • understanding complex budgets,

  • understanding that decision-making in the public sector can be significantly harder work and often requires a different approach than the private sector,

  • doing the personal research to make sure he is thoroughly understanding the issue at hand, and

  • learning from mistakes as a leader on building consensus.

Charles and Julia England Foundation
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John was impacted greatly by the dedication of our teachers and staff, leading him and a group of citizens to form the Charles and Julia England Foundation’s (CJEF) “Be Somebody” fund in 2016. CJEF funds teacher's creative learning projects in Lexington City schools and is effectively run by volunteers to assure all funding goes to our schools. The foundation’s inaugural fundraiser (pictured below) was a dedication to the England family and their impact on our community. The May family became a significant fundraiser and donor to CJEF and a Bert and Carol May Education grant was established.  Some members of the May and England family are pictured below during an awards ceremony.  CJEF has been able to fund over $60,000 in creative learning projects through the generosity of our citizens. John has served as chair since the inception of CJEF.

In 2020, John initiated an effort with CJEF and community supporters to supply over 150 Apseed Seedling tablet learning devices for LCS preschool students to utilize in their home environment.

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Active Church Member

John has been a longtime member of Grace Episcopal Church serving as Vestry member, Journey to Adulthood leader, chair of the Grace Children’s School board, a cook for the Grace Food Ministries, and many other volunteer activities.

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American Children's Home & First Hope Ministries

John has also served on the board of the American Children’s Home and the executive committee of Davidson County First Hope Ministries Board of Directors (formerly Crisis Ministries).  John volunteered as a meal preparer and overnight shelter support.   These experiences heightened John’s awareness of the critical work our non-profits across the community do to support those falling on tough times and in need of a helping hand.

More importantly it created awareness in John that many of these individuals and families just crave being acknowledged and their stories heard, that they are deserving of love and respect just like every other citizen.

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