VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler City Schools has named Demmitt first grade teacher Amber Pelfrey as its December Staff Member of the Month. Pelfrey was nominated by Demmitt Principal Garry Martin.
“Amber is in her eighth year of teaching but her first year with the Vandalia-Butler City Schools,” said Martin. “She has jumped right in with two feet without testing the waters. She has been very instrumental in the development of our new PBIS behavior program throughout the building. She has taken on a monumental effort with the support of the entire staff and PTO to send every student and faculty member on an end-of-the-year field trip to the Cincinnati Zoo with an estimated cost of more than $10,000 with ticket prices, snacks and charter busing.”
How long have you been teaching?
This will be my 8th year as an educator. I spent seven years in Xenia, took a year off to be with my children, and began teaching in Vandalia this year.
Why did you become a teacher?
I always enjoyed working with children while growing up. I am an aunt to 15 nieces and nephews. It just seemed natural to me to go into the education field.
Did you have a teacher who made an impact on you?
My favorite and most memorable teacher is Mrs. Burns from Stivers. She went far beyond teaching me Language Arts in seventh grade. She showed interest in me as a person and cared about all of us outside of the classroom.
What is your proudest teaching accomplishment?
I am most proud of the experience I had working on a team that wrote and was awarded a $3 million/ 3-year School Improvement Grant (SIG). I worked directly with the State Support team to monitor and analyze the data. I learned so much from the experience and I’m grateful for the team I worked with.
How would you describe your teaching philosophy?
I feel it is important to provide an engaging, well managed classroom for the students to learn. I also believe in collaboration with colleagues in order to share and provide the best educational experiences for our students.
How do you think your students would describe you?
They would say I am silly, loving, and fun.
What do you hope your students take from your classroom?
I hope my students understand that every day is a new day with new experiences to live in and learn from. I hope they learn they can make choices each day that will help them succeed as a student, person and human being. I hope they take from me my joy in learning, trying new things, and building positive relationships.
Are you working on any special projects in your classroom or at your school?
I am planning Demmitt Goes Wild @ The Cincinnati Zoo. It will be a school- wide field trip with all 450 students and staff attending the zoo. Students will be collecting information while at the zoo for end of the year projects that will be presented in a variety of ways across grade levels. This will be a great educational opportunity for our students and an experience they won’t forget. I am currently working on funding the project with grant support from the PTO.
Reach the Vandalia-Butler City Schools at 937-415-6400.