Amanda Burgess has always loved school.
The Pine Trail Elementary School Teacher of the Year said she was the kind of student in school who would ask for extra worksheets, just so she could take them home and play school with her younger sister. During high school, she worked as a student aide for a kindergarten class. Seeing the love of learning in those young children made her realize she wanted to pursue a career in education.
A graduate of Central Michigan University, Burgess said she had many great teachers growing up that inspired her to be the best for her own students.
"I think about what they shaped in their classroom and I hope to do the same," she said.
Being nominated as her school's teacher of the year makes her feel honored and grateful. Pine Trail Elementary has many wonderful hardworking teachers, and Burgess said she is proud to represent them. Burgess is currently a first grade teacher. She is in her 12th year of teaching, all of which she's done at the elementary level.
Her favorite thing about teaching is seeing her students come in each morning with a smile on their face. Each day is a fresh start, Burgess said, and most days, her students come in ready to learn.
She also always encourages her students to love reading.
"Being a reader opens so many doors for the future and often can take you to places you can only imagine," Burgess said. "Reading makes our leaders."