Jurema Gorham affirms Burst Into Books as an organization that is rooted in instilling our children with the essential tools to grow academically. A life-long learner, Jurema has taught professionally since 2008, working with grades K-12. Seeking inspiration along her professional career, Jurema stays in student mode all the time. When she was pregnant with her son, she yearned for advancement in her career, so Jurema decided to pursue her first Masters’ degree in Educational Leadership. She moved from elementary education to high school, teaching at the freshman level. She noticed many students had learning disabilities. Students were supposed to be at a certain level, but many were not. Here she realized the importance of differentiation learning, so in 2016, inspired by the students who didn’t receive individual support, she went back to school to earn a second Masters’ degree in Differentiated Instruction.
Within the last couple years, Jurema moved out of the classroom, coaching teachers and helping them to reach the needs of each individual student. Currently pursuing her PhD, Jurema’s mission is to help focus on the school system and attack many of the loopholes such as standardized testing and other factors why students aren’t mastering assessments, excelling in the classroom and more. Jurema’s experience with navigating relationships between parents, students, administrators, teachers, and communities have provided her with a clear advantage of helping address the educational and systemic issues while creating impact outside of the classroom.
As she enters her 15th year as an educator, she understands the power of being a strong reader. Not only does reading open a new world to your child, they will strengthen their ability to excel in all of their subjects in school. As she continues to push her son, Trey to explore the world through reading. Jurema’s personal mission is to take along as many children as possible on the same adventure. Jurema is committed to creating a safe space for all children to engage with text and dialogue which is remarkably needed in the community.
Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education - Chicago State University (2008)
Endorsements: Language Arts (Middle School), Self-Contained General Education, Kindergarten-9th Grade, Social Science (Middle School), and pursuing General Science
Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership with Type 75 certification - Concordia University Chicago (2013)
Master’s Degree in Differentiated Instruction - Concordia University Chicago (2016)
Doctoral Degree in Curriculum and Instruction - Concordia University Chicago (December 2024)
Emerging Leaders Program- New Leaders Chicago (2017)
Nonprofit Management Certificate - University of Chicago (February 2022)
Civic Leadership Academy - University of Chicago (2022)
Inaugural Leaders of the USA Cohort - Obama Foundation (2023)
Black Professional Entrepreneurs Resurgence Accelerator Program -The Kyra Company. & JPMorgan Chase & Co. (2023)
Jurema is the reason I am currently working at Butler College Prep. When I interviewed with Jurema, I knew instantly I wanted to work under her leadership. She was warm, welcoming and immediately made me feel at ease. Once I was hired, Jurema started coaching me and helped shape me as an educator. Although I had taught for 5 years, she helped me see teaching from a new lens and encouraged me to change my perspective on how to instruct. She coached me not just at the beginning, but every week helped me set goals, gave me resources/ideas/tools to implement the goals, checked in and made sure I followed through. My scores were not the best at the beginning but over the course of the year they improved simply because Jurema was there to coach and guide me.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Jurema for almost a decade and she has been nothing less than a beacon of light for anyone that has had the opportunity to share a space with her. I initially started off as Jurema's co-teacher in her science class and during that time we were able to develop a good partnership as well as friendship. She did not hesitate to incorporate me in her lessons and provide valuable insight as I was learning the structures of teaching. Her of patience, understanding, and wisdom made her presence in the classroom irreplaceable. Those same characteristics in addition to her ambition, makes her ability to help people undeniable. I have had the opportunities to work with Jurema in several capacities ranging from co-planning lessons and curriculum to business consulting. In any of those capacities, she has proven that she is a resource that will contribute significant value any to any endeavor that she pursues.