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Stillwater’s Hannah Burris – SNU Leadership Spotlight Presented by Southern Nazarene University

Pursuing a master’s degree can be a daunting task, especially for adults who work full-time jobs. Hannah Burris of Stillwater, Oklahoma, is just that person. A current elementary school teacher at Sangre Ridge Elementary in Stillwater, Hannah knew she wanted to continue her education and thanks to a family member, she knew right where to go.

“My dad had completed the MAEL (Master’s in Educational Leadership) program at Southern Nazarene University while I was still in high school. I can remember how much he enjoyed the program, even though going back to school in his forties was daunting. When it came time to consider what school I wanted to pursue my masters at, the choice was very clear,” Hannah said. 

Having the flexibility with her schedule and the ability to work with others in a group are just two factors that made Southern Nazarene’s program the right choice.

“I have really enjoyed having a cohort again. This is the same model that my undergraduate program utilized, and I have found the unity and relationship part of it so rewarding,” Hannah said. “I have been surprised by the professors the most. I expected grad school professors to be much more serious and intimidating, but all of our professors so far have been amazing. They are all so kind, passionate, and relatable. They are clearly in leadership for the right reasons and that is what is important in education. The schedule has been amazing to work with, despite having a full-time job. The cohort model is so helpful and uplifting, and the professors have absolutely been the highlight. Everyone in the program seems to genuinely care about the students and is willing to do whatever it takes to help us attain our goals.” 

Looking ahead, Hannah said she does not know what opportunities may arise in the future as an educator, but she was certain she wanted to be ready for them when they do. 

“I am earning my master’s degree now so that I am able to assume the right role when it comes along,” said Hannah. 

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