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Meet Amanda Martis!

When did you graduate from NDA?

I graduated NDA in 2011! 05-19-1! Jai Ho!

When and why did you decide to become a teacher?

I decided to become a teacher at the end of my senior year. I had some pretty inspirational teachers during my high school years.

Did you know you wanted to teach at NDA when you were still a student?

I think my goal was always to get back to NDA! It’s been my favorite place in the whole world since I was a freshman.

Tell me about your first day as a teacher.

Oh wow, it’s a little bit blurry now! I can’t believe how quickly 4 years has gone by. I picked out my favorite dress and I think I got to school about two hours early. I’m pretty sure I was sweating bullets because I was so nervous. I remember stumbling through my syllabus and classroom procedures and I heard a sweet student whisper to the girl next to her: “She seems fun!” After that, I knew everything would be okay!

How is teaching different from how you imagined it to be?

The bonds that I have made inside and outside of the classroom are far stronger than I ever imagined. The teaching is exactly what I pictured, but my students are the greatest blessing.

Tell me about a time when teaching made you feel hopeful.

I recently had a student approach me to tell me how much she missed my class this semester, and how my classroom feels like her little “safe haven.” This gives me hope that I’m on the right track!

How would you like your students to remember you?

I would love for my students to remember me as caring, kind and strong. NDA taught me to be just that!

Was there a teacher or teachers who had a particularly strong influence on your life? What did you learn about teaching from them?

One of the most influential teachers I had was Mrs. Amy Johns. Mrs. Johns and I really connected my junior year and it has been that way since! Mrs. Johns taught me the importance of putting your students first and recognizing that they, along with yourself, are human. She inspired me to be kind, open and to see the best in every student. She has always had so much confidence in me that I was able to be confident in myself.

Looking back, what advice would you give to yourself in your first year of teaching?

Mistakes happen, don’t be afraid to ask for help, not every student will vibe with you and have fun!

Did you enjoy school?

I didn’t always enjoy the homework, but I definitely loved high school. So much that I had to come back!

What kind of student were you?

I was a decent student! I struggled with a few things, but always tried!

What would you do for fun?

I was in St. John’s Marching Band in high school, which took up a lot of time! I had a lot of fun during football season! Other than that, my friends and I would normally grab Jet’s Pizza & salad, BBQ chips, orange soda and have movie nights in my parents’ basement.

Did you get into trouble? What was the worst thing you did?

I received one, 1 pt. demerit during my 4 years, which was for being late for class after lunch. It was on the 3rd floor, so I was being lazy and took my time. As of last week I’ve officially given out more demerits than I received! Also, I’ll never forget when Mrs. G yelled at me for talking. It was even the nice type of yelling. Now my classroom is right next to her’s and I think about it often.

Did you have a nickname? How’d you get it?

AMart! Pretty easy to combine my first and last name.

Are you still friends with anyone from high school?

I am! I’m still friends with quite a few people from high school and five of them are bridesmaids in my upcoming wedding!

What are your best memories of grade school/high school/college/graduate school? Worst memories?

Probably the most embarrassing thing that happened to me in high school was during my sophomore year, the seniors had a bit of a food fight in the dining hall. Unbeknownst to me, there was a grape on the ground in front of me and I slipped and fell in front of everyone. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Do you have any favorite stories from school?

Honestly my whole high school experience is a favorite!

How would you describe a perfect day when you were in high school?

My perfect day would definitely start with a two-hour delay. I would have Prayer class with Sr. Charleen, choir with Mrs. Amy Johns, my junior year English class with Mrs. Jean Walker ’82 and U.S. History with Mr. McEwen. It would be a Friday and we would have a football game to march in!

And now?

Now? It would still start with a two-hour delay and I would teach my senior logic class all about fallacies or how to form arguments. Then I would go to yoga class after school and spend my night at an improv show downtown!

What did you think your life would be like when you grew up?

I always thought my life would be happy and full, but I never could have imagined it would be as wonderful as it is now. I’m a lucky gal!