Northern Commencement speaker and M.A. in Teaching grad Alexandrea Kramm maintained a 4.0 grade point average while working full time in the Salinas City Elementary School District. As one of her professors noted, that is not easy. Kramm’s enthusiasm for Brandman and what she was learning inspired others at her school who also enrolled. Here’s what she told her fellow graduates Saturday, June 2 in Sacramento. Video of commencement is at the end.
I am not quite sure how I managed to get up here on this stage. This is very different than speaking to 25 5-year-olds.
My name is Alexandrea Kramm. I am a second-year kindergarten teacher – now with a master’s degree. A little bit about myself, for transparency sake. I attended Cal Poly where it took me a full five years to complete my bachelor’s in nutrition science in 2015. As proud as I am of that degree, nothing brings me more joy than to have completed my credential and master's in teaching this year with Brandman. I knew mid-way through my third year of college that I no longer wanted to be a nutritionist and that I wanted to be with kids.
After graduating I accepted a position as an instructional aide in a kindergarten class and the rest was history. I did my research and decided Brandman was the best credential program for me. With the opportunity to take my classes online and continue to work fulltime Brandman was the perfect fit.
No matter the questions I had Brandman, with its knowledgeable counselors, professors and tech staff, supported me along the way – from deciding to switch from a student teacher to an internship last minute or accelerating my master’s program so I could finish sooner, my advisor was just a phone call or quick email away.
Brandman truly showed me the ropes of what it takes to become a successful educator. When beginning my master’s program, I feared I did not have enough experience to complete a master’s with integrity. But, Brandman provided me with much reassurance that I could complete the courses and do well.
For the past two years, my life has revolved around discussion boards, journals and projects, as well as making sure all of my students are on grade level. As stressful as it has been at times, I feel I have become connected to the people in my online classes, as we share experiences and new ideas.
Brandman's strict deadlines required me to become more organized and diligent than I ever was before. As I fell into the routine of Brandman, my life slowly started to follow a routine as well. I have enjoyed learning about my professors and their extensive background in education and learning how they juggled their personal lives along the way.
With Brandman providing me such an open door to my professors’ and peers’ lives, it helped me learn to organize my life better to fit my needs and my students. Allowing us to speak to our peers and hear their opinions helped shape how I teach every day.
As educators speaking to our students, we throw around the terms perseverance, integrity and accomplishment, probably more than any other profession. But, to truly succeed with Brandman, we had to persevere, we had to keep our integrity and now we have earned our degrees.
All the long nights, countless emails, and due dates have brought us to where we are now. It was not luck that brought us here. It was the ability to push through the hard times and keep the end goal in mind. We have earned these degrees. Congratulations to all of you. I wish you all the best.
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