Avila Now

March 8, 2022

Q&A: Pamela Burham MA.Ed ’19

Pamela Burham

Pamela Burham, MAEd ‘19 began her career in the field of Criminal Justice, but couldn’t find a place that sparked any passion. Her sister encouraged her to look into Avila’s education program after her own wonderful experience. After researching several local options, Burham decided Avila was the right fit for her because she could earn her teaching certification and master’s degree in a reasonable amount of time while allowing her to continue working 

The program’s requirements and expectations are very clearly outlined, which is helpful and reassuring.

“I was aware of the exceptional reputation that Avila has and was confident that obtaining my degree from Avila would make me a more competitive teaching candidate for hire.”

Burham graduated in 2019 with her Master of Arts in Education and now teaches Social Studies at Grandview High School.

How did Avila prepare you for your career?

The program at Avila was incredibly thorough and well-developed. I felt it truly prepared me for my career in education. The courses are centered around highly essential topics in education. The effectiveness of the program in preparing me for the classroom was tested when I was hired at semester in an emergency situation and had to forgo my student teaching experience. I am very fortunate that the school was confident enough to take a chance on me without a student teaching experience and remain grateful for the professors at Avila who ensured that I was ready. 

I wholeheartedly believe that the professors at Avila played a huge role in my success in the classroom. The class sizes are small with high-quality instruction. The faculty demonstrates a high level of care and interest in student success.

What professional goals do you have in the future? How has your Avila education prepared you to pursue those?

I want to revolutionize education and make the high school experience more relevant and meaningful to the lives of all students. I have created and implemented two new courses at Grandview High school that promote real-world learning and are designed to extend maximum autonomy to students. I hope to continue to design and teach classes that provide engaging and rigorous learning experiences for students that allow them to develop skills that will ensure their success in high school and beyond.

I am passionate about creating a learning environment that allows students to have a choice and voice and a platform to initiate change both in school and throughout the community. 

I am currently in the last year of my Educational Specialist degree in Teacher Leadership. I plan to continue to teach on the secondary level while making efforts to bring more innovative approaches to instruction to our school. I am on two leadership committees in the district; the Building Leadership Team and Pathway Lead. I am also the head coach of the girl’s swim team.

Who at Avila did you form good relationships with during your studies? How did they assist you?

Natalie Cobb, Ed.D. – Outstanding educator who further inspired me to be a teacher. She assisted me in numerous ways throughout the program and ensured I was fully prepared for the classroom. She is very positive and kind and made learning fun and memorable. I appreciated her assurances through the most challenging phases of the program.

Stacy Keith, Ed.D. – An exemplary professor who exhibits the utmost passion and energy for teaching. She is one of the most skilled educators that I have observed. She models how instruction should look and makes all efforts to build and foster relationships with students. She maintains very high expectations while providing the support needed to fulfill them. 

Sue Ellen McCalley, Ph.D. – To date, Dr. McCalley’s classes remain among my favorite ever. I learned so much about learning theories, which influenced my instruction and philosophy of education. I also was beyond appreciative of the detailed individualized feedback that she provided on every assignment. She is truly an expert in her content and craft.

Cory Roup – Outstanding advisor who patiently and seamlessly assisted me in the admissions process. I greatly appreciate the relief that all courses, program requirements, and transfers are done with the support of a knowledgeable advisor.

Alicia Murillo – Ms. Murillo was extremely helpful in supporting me throughout the program and ensuring that I completed all required components to receive my teaching certification. Avila has an amazing support team for their students and Ms. Murillo is a huge part of that.

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