Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Smith- The Teacher Who Does It All
By Miela T.
When Amy Smith was younger she always knew that she was destined to be a teacher. Many of her students agree that she is set apart as one of the best SSN teachers that Mountain Range High School has ever seen, and her hard work does nothing but prove that she is the teacher who works to do it all.
Born and raised in Denver Colorado, Amy Smith always had a goal of making school and education systems a better place for students. She went to Horizon High School and was determined to go to college so she could kick start her dream in teaching after working as a para. She loved being a para so much that Smith’s goal became nothing but clear in her eyes. She wanted to help people and spread joy and kindness through teaching.
As soon as Smith graduated from Horizon, she continued her education by going to Front Range Community College. Though she went to this school with high expectations, she felt like things weren’t going her way and overall like she wasn’t being successful in her education goals. She dropped out of Front Range after only a semester and took a break from school completely.
When she turned 30, Smith decided it was time to give college another shot. She picked her studies back up at UNC Lowry where she earned her bachelor's degree. Immediately after she earned her bachelor’s, she transferred colleges and went to CSU for her masters, and got her eds at ASU. Finally, her teaching career at MRHS had officially started at 32 years old.
A great responsibility was thrown on Smith’s shoulders the second she walked through the doors at MRHS. Almost immediately she began teaching health, life skills, science, math, language arts, and careers once a day. But that wasn’t the only thing she had to worry about. Her students quickly became handfuls in her life.
As a significant support teacher, Smith quickly had to adapt to taking care of her students one on one, teaching every subject in her class, and running and assigning a team of paras to her students all at the same time. It was overwhelming, but Smith takes pride in her team of para’s and peer tutor students.
While some of her students require help with communication, speaking, hearing, and listening, other students need support with moving, walking, seeing, writing, and reading. The scale for the type of help that Smith’s class offers is neverending.
“I will help any student who needs it, a part of my class or not. I want everyone to feel like they belong here.” States Smith.
It’s hard for her to have to teach all of these subjects a day but she knows that it’s just a part of her job that she has to work with. The way that Smith needs to run her classes is different than most teachers. She knows that it’s important to find an expectation to have her students meet since she wants them to grow, but the difficulty in that comes when deciding how each student gets support. She really wants to help them, but never complete their work for them, and sometimes it’s hard to be firm in that way.
All the hard work that Smith has done really pays off, according to staff and teachers around her. Her work was so impactful that one student in particular still remembers the effect that Smith had on her through High School.
Kassidi Boyer, a previous student from Mountain Range High School who graduated in the class of 2017, feels that even years after attending Mountain Range, the most memorable part of the school was Smith’s teaching and influence on her. Kassidi states that “Mrs. Smith is amazing. She did so much for me when I first started at Mountain Range and even after I was done with peer tutoring she would be there for me if I needed it. She’s the one and only teacher that made an impact on me at Mountain Range.”
Even other teachers tend to see how hard Mrs. Smith works for her students. According to Mitcheal Davis, a forensic science teacher, he states that “ Mrs. Smith is probably, I’d say, the teacher who has to work the hardest at this school. She really has to deal with students that hold a lot of behavioral aspects and specific needs and I don’t think I’d be able to do that to a point where it’s genuinely helpful. You have to be a special type of person to do what she does.”
Even though Smith is so hard working at this school, she remains humble about the parts she plays in her job. She feels as though all teachers have the same amount of responsibility and workload in one way or another. Smith claimed that “We all have specific parts of our job that make it hard, but we also have parts of our job that make us love what we do, and that’s why we are here.”
Amy Smith is the teacher at Mountain Range High School who will do anything that she needs in order to make her students learn the right way. Her job is challenging, but she never fails to keep a positive impact on the students she teaches.
Miela T is an angsty teen who lacks school spirit but maintains her passion for writing. No one expected her to join Journalism as a senior at Mountain Range High School, and to be assigned to report on school spirit events, except for her Junior English teacher, Mrs.DeStasio. Miela wrote and illustrated her first novel in preschool about lines, dots, and friendship. As a young teen, she found inspiration and amusement through horror stories, murder mysteries, betrayal, and romance. Her writing style is influenced by some of her favorite authors, Stephen King, Colleen Hoover, and Adam Silvera. Though she fails in subjects like math, she excels in life. In her freetime she works at an elementary school full of children, and is a tutor who’s working her side hustle (babysitting gig). Often found curled up on her daybed with Starbucks, headphones, and her one eyed cat by her side. Apart from her writing interests, Miela enjoys beating her friends in Mario Kart, playing Animal Crossing, baking cakes, and watching horror movies with cowards (who are also her friends). She continues to follow her passion for writing while hopefully making progress with her own expectations.