Chatham County Schools

Three new principals named by CCS Board of Education

The three women will take the helm at Bonlee, Jordan-Matthews and Silk Hope


The Chatham County Schools Board of Education named three new principals at its personnel meeting.

Nikki Murchison was named principal of Bonlee School, April Burko at Jordan-Matthews High School and Caroline Linker at Silk Hope School. The three women were approved by the CCS board Thursday. 

Murchison has worked in education for 23 years, all with CCS. She succeeds Kim Taylor at Bonlee, who is retiring after 11 years at the helm. 

During her career in education, she has served as a teacher, an instructional coach and as the assistant principal at Virginia Cross Elementary School since 2018. 

Murchison also is the 2022-23 Assistant Principal of the Year for Chatham County Schools.

“Education is such a passion for me, and it is so meaningful to have the honor of working in a field that has a lasting impact on others,” Murchison said. “Bonlee is not just a community, but a family. I am grateful to have the opportunity to join this family.”  

Chatham County Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson said Murchison’s skills as an administrator and educator will make her an outstanding leader at Bonlee. 

“Mrs. Murchison’s knowledge of the community and her desire to serve her students and their families to the best of her ability will make her an excellent principal at Bonlee,” he said. “We are excited to see how she excels in her new role as she brings her proven success as an outstanding educator to lead this school.”

Burko leaves her position as principal of Culbreth Middle School in Chapel Hill to take over at J-M. She succeeds Donna Barger who is retiring after one and a half years as principal. Barger was previously the assistant principal at Jordan-Matthews for five and a half years.

Burko has worked in education since 2011, starting her career as a social studies teacher at T. Wingate Andrews High School in Guilford County Schools.

“I am excited to serve the Jordan-Matthews High School community," Burko said. "I am looking forward to cultivating relationships with students, staff and families as we work together to build on the rich traditions of the community and ensure the success of every student who walks through our doors.”

“Her talents and strengths will both complement and ensure continued movement forward in growth for students at Jordan-Matthews High School,” Jackson said. “She is ready to embrace this community and prepare her students to ensure their future success."

Linker joins CCS after leaving her role as principal of W.G. Pearson STEAM Elementary School in Durham. She takes over for Angie Brady-Andrew, who is retiring after 17 years as a CCS principal. 

“I am so excited about this opportunity. I look forward to getting to know my Silk Hope students, and to working in partnership with our families and community,” Linker said. “Chatham County Schools is an excellent school district, and I am delighted to be a part of that excellence moving forward.”

Linker has worked in education since 2012, starting her career as a math teacher through Teach For America. Linker went on to become a school director with Northampton County Public Schools, an assistant principal with Bunn High School and a principal with Youngsville Elementary.

“Ms. Linker’s dedication to education and how accomplished she is in this field are a valuable addition to Chatham County Schools,” Jackson said. “She will serve the Silk Hope community well.”

Reporter Ben Rappaport can be reached at or on Twitter @b_rappaport

Chatham County Schools, principals, Nikki Murchison, Caroline Linker, April Burko, Bonlee, Jordan-Matthews, Silk Hope


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