Burnham says ‘adios’

By Lauren Cullen
Managing Editor

Although Patricia Burnham has only been teaching at Westford Academy for five years, she has many more years of experience. In total, she has taught for over 22 years, not only at WA, but various other locations, as far away as Florida.

Burnham started her teaching career in Holyoke, Massachusetts, teaching bilingual second graders Spanish. She then went on to teach first through eighth graders in Florida. After moving back to Massachusetts in 1992, she taught not only children, but also adults in Lowell. Burnham then started teaching in the Westford public school system, first at Blanchard Middle School, then the Millenium School, Stony Brook Middle School, and lastly WA.

After all of her years teaching in different locations, Burnham set her sights on working at WA. To avoid working at the school while her children were attending, Burnham waited to start her career here.

Finally, in the fall of 2008, Burnham started teaching at WA. Unlike many new teachers, Burnham was not nervous for her first day.

“For me, [my first day] was fun. I was walking the hallways and recognized all these kids I taught when they were younger,” she said.

After letting Principal James Antonelli know of her retirement, Burnham didn’t tell anyone else at WA of her plans until January. Someone who knew about her retirement even before Antonelli though, was her husband, who is happy she can finally relax.

“This is a seven day a week job, it really is,” she said, “he is happy for me, and my kids are excited for me too because we have lots of plans.”

These plans include many outdoor activities including golfing, skiing, kayaking, and spending time with her children, who don’t live close to her house on the Cape, which will become her permanent residence.

“After all that, I need to find something for my brain,” Burnham said laughing.