Alayne Burns

Degree: Ed.S. in School Psychology

College/School: School of Education and Human Development, College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Alayne Burns served Broward County Public Schools as an elementary and special education teacher for over 10 years. But her path to becoming an educator wasn’t a straight one.

With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communications, she began her career at a public relations firm. But Alayne wanted to make a greater impact on her community. She became a substitute teacher while taking education classes and pursued the certification exams required to teach.

In 2014, Alayne enrolled at FIU to pursue a specialist’s degree in school psychology while teaching full-time. The next year, she experienced double vision, difficulty swallowing and balance problems. She had suffered a stroke. Not long after, she suffered a second one and required surgery for a rare blood vessel abnormality. Undeterred, Alayne was back at FIU three months later. She earned a 4.0 GPA that semester.

As part of her specialist studies, Alayne is completing an internship with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She conducts IQ, academic and standardized testing for a range of students, including those with learning disabilities and who are gifted. Alayne hopes her work will allow all students to receive a good education and adequate services.

After graduating, Alayne is looking to secure a job with the public school system and eventually run her own private practice. She dedicates her degree to her father, Larry, an educator and psychologist, who passed away in 2010.

By Evelyn Gonzalez
Account Manager, College of Arts, Sciences & Education