Herkimer Central School District is starting off this school year by focusing the Spotlight Q&A feature on Herkimer CSD alumni who are giving back to the school community by working in the district as teachers or staff.
Spotlight on: Amanda Johnson
“I have had amazing teachers over the years who made school fun and exciting, and I want to create those experiences for my students.”
Q. What year did you graduate from Herkimer?
A. I graduated from Herkimer High School in 2018.
Q. What’s your favorite high school memory?
A. My best high school memories are of being in the school musicals. It was an amazing experience creating performances every year with my friends and dedicated teachers.
Q. What led you to become a teacher?
A. I have always loved working with kids and want to make a difference in their lives. I have had amazing teachers over the years who made school fun and exciting, and I want to create those experiences for my students.
Q. What else have you been doing between when you graduated from Herkimer and now?
A. After graduating from Herkimer, I went to SUNY Oneonta for childhood education and am currently in graduate school at the University at Albany. I completed my student teaching at Herkimer last fall and worked as a long-term substitute in fifth grade in the spring.
Q. Did anyone from Herkimer Central School District influence you in becoming who you are today?
A. I have had many positive influences in my years at Herkimer. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Levi, made a huge impact on me when I was in elementary school. She was kind and caring, and I strive to be as good of a teacher as she was one day. Mrs. Lampert was the biggest influence in my high school career and amplified my love for history. I looked forward to her class every day and was lucky enough to have her in both 10th and 11th grades. She made it easy and fun to learn and was always willing to go above and beyond for her students.
Q. What makes you most excited about returning to work at Herkimer?
A. I had so many wonderful experiences throughout my school career at Herkimer and am excited to recreate those experiences for my students. The community of students, faculty and staff make it an amazing place to go every day. It has also been amazing working with my past teachers and learning from them in a different context.
Q. What advice do you have for current Herkimer students?
A. One piece of advice is to always try your hardest because you are capable of more than you know. Try not to put yourself down for things that you cannot do yet because there is always room to learn and grow. After all, that is why you are in school! Second, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things. The best experiences I had in high school came from not being afraid of new opportunities and going out of my comfort zone. Lastly, work hard, but don’t forget to have fun!