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Focus On OCI Staff: Amy Smith

OAKHURST — This week we are focusing on one of our 6th grade teachers, Ms. Amy Smith. She has been teaching for thirteen years in total, but has only taught for five years in Oakhurst, and loves it!

When Ms. Smith graduated from high school she went to college to become a biologist. After completing two years toward her biology major, she decided to volunteer in a fifth grade classroom. After that experience in the classroom, she realized that she worked really well with kids, so she decided to become a teacher.

Ms. Smith loves teaching because she likes to build strong relationships with the students, so that way they know that she will always be there for them in anyway — and she also pushes them to be the best they can be. She appreciates teaching middle school because she enjoys the kids’ smiles, silliness, and unique personalities.

Although Mrs. Smith loves teaching math, her favorite subject to teach is science. She loves teaching science because she is passionate about the natural world. Ms. Smith is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to teach math because many of her students find the subject very hard. She also teaches photography and she enjoys that because she likes seeing creative work from the students.

Ms. Smith also has her own creative interests: she makes beaded gemstone jewelry that is for sale in Oakhurst at The Enchanted Florist and Whatnots, as well as in North Fork at the Gnarly Carrot and Jennie’s Garden. She also started taking guitar lessons about four years ago and enjoys playing for her classes, sometimes doing open mic nights in town. She says that music has really changed her life.

Ms. Smith grew up in Modesto, about two hours from Oakhurst. Her parents own a sandwich shop called “Brighter Side” that has been there for over 40 years. Ms. Smith loved working at the deli over the summers growing up. Her favorite sandwich was the Genora, a hot roast beef sandwich with Jack cheese on a French roll, that was actually named after one of the original customers. Ms. Smith has two children, eight and six years old, who are active in Karate, dance, and gymnastics. Most of her extended family lives in Modesto and she misses them dearly, but she enjoys being part of Oakhurst’s small and tight-knit community.

Ms. Smith went to a charter elementary school called Fremont Open Plan where the students called their teachers by their first names and did a lot of fun and unique activities. She attended a large 7th and 8th grade middle school, and for high school she went to Thomas Downey High School. This is the same school that George Lucus of the Star Wars fame attended.

Ms. Smith is a kind and funny teacher and we enjoyed learning more about her.

Oak Creek Intermediate is part of the Bass Lake School District

Focus On OCI Staff: Erik Peterson

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