W.Z. "Doc" Burke was an education pioneer who helped establish Northside Independent School District.
"Doc" Burke was the momentum behind the effort to join rural Bexar county school districts in 1949 to become Northside Consolidated School District #1. This consolidated school district eventually became Northside Rural High School District #1. In 1955, the name was changed to Northside Independent School District.
W. Z. "Doc" Burke was one of two original rural district trustees who led the consolidation move that ultimately built what is now known as Marshall High School.
Burke, a veterinarian from Leon Valley, and Clarence Galm (another NISD elementary school namesake) from Helotes worked with trustees from the Locke Hill and Leon Springs districts to successfully pass an election calling for consolidation of the four rural school districts. Other rural school districts which joined the original four include Los Reyes, West San Antonio Heights, Lockhart, Mackey, Clifton, Hoffman and Culebra. Burke was one of seven trustees named to the first Board of the newly formed school district. He served two years.
Burke graduated from Port Arthur High School and Texas A&M University where he earned his veterinary medicine degree. He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry and then joined the U.S. Army where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He spent part of his military career at Fort Sam Houston teaching at Brooks General Hospital.
After his military service, he settled into the rural northwest Bexar County farming communities and set up his veterinary practice. It was here that "Doc" would eventually make his mark on Northside ISD. He and his wife, Hazel (Menefee), raised their children and became leaders in their community and schools. Burke passed away in 2006.