For Amy Boehm, 2020 was a crazy year for a number of reasons. 

First, there was the global pandemic. Amy was working as an instructional assistant at an elementary school at the time and experienced the tumultuous spring of virtual learning firsthand. She had to adjust, along with her colleagues and students, to new systems and a world of unknowns. Second, she had three kids at home – also doing school online – and a business to help run. And third, she decided to go back to school to get her teaching license.

Then her principal called. 

“I was five weeks into the program at George Fox,” Amy recalls, “and my principal said, ‘We need you. An online teacher quit. We need someone now.’”

She jumped into a fully online second-grade classroom with an emergency teaching license. Like many, the technology was new to her – not to mention having a classroom to manage.

“I was learning that while I was going back to school for the first time in 25 years. It was intense.”

While her teaching debut was a bit unexpected, becoming a teacher wasn’t an entirely new dream for Amy. 

“I wanted to be a teacher when I went to college the first time in 1995. I ended up meeting my husband and deciding to open an insurance office instead of finishing my teaching degree at that time.” 

She got married, had kids, and focused on raising her family and supporting the business. When her youngest started school, Amy took a job as an instructional assistant at a local school. Then everything shut down in the spring of 2020, and she knew it was time to take the next step and finish her degree.

“Everything just kind of fell in place. I could still be home and a part of my family. I am very thankful that I didn't have to commute or leave my home in any way to access my education.”

George Fox’s virtual education degree completion program allowed Amy to take classes remotely, saving her a commute and giving her the flexibility to be present for her kids who were all still living at home and navigating school online.

“I could be a presence in the house for my kids when they might need something. That was the only reason that I was able to do it. I could get up, take a quick break, and go tuck my daughter into bed and give her a kiss goodnight.”

While the pressure of teaching and taking classes was overwhelming at times, Amy had support from her professors and cohort, especially her cohort leader Saurra Heide. 

“I met with her once a week beyond my class for a half hour to 45 minutes. She was amazing. She helped me so much.”

“I needed the help and connection that the synchronous part of the program provided. I was shocked at the connections I did make, even though I was never actually in the same room with these people.”

Amy now teaches kindergarten and first grade at Sutherlin East Primary School, in the same district where her kids attend school – and where she went to elementary school and her parents before her.

Amy Boehm and her family

“We are part of this community. I love the students. They make me smile and teach me so much every day. I love the people I work with. I believe in what we're doing.” 

Her advice for anyone considering the program?

“It's all going to work out. Twenty months is not that long,” Amy says. “Take a deep breath, and take it one day at a time.” 

“George Fox is here to help you. They're not here to judge you or fail you because you are too busy. They're here to help you figure out how to navigate this process.”

Learn more about George Fox's Education Degree Completion Program

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