Bronco Spotlight: Kelly Amshey

Bronco Spotlight: Kelly Amshey

Ph.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership, 2019

Job Title and Employer:

Assistant Principal at Rockford Public Schools 

Describe your job:

My work as an assistant principal involves the traditional roles of intervening with students struggling with behavior, academic success, and/or attendance.  Additionally, I have the opportunity to engage in supporting teachers in professional growth through the evaluation process.  I have worked as a district leader in Restorative Practices, developing resources, and implementing training for other district administrators.  I served as the district chairperson for secondary science (grades 6-12) for years, providing guidance, support, and professional development during the transition to Next Generation Science Standards.  This included adoption of curriculum materials that better support their work.  Now that the science department has a strong trajectory, I have been reassigned to the secondary English department.  Our current work involved the identification of priority standards and vertical alignment.  Lastly, I have undertaken leadership for our district's counseling team (grades 6-12).  Our team is working toward national certification through the American School Counseling Association and bolstering the scope and sequence for the counseling department.

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of this work is knowing just how important this work is.  Our future genuinely depends on the best effort, each and every day, of myself and my colleagues.  I am proud of where I've been, where I am, and where I'm heading.  I am proud of what my colleagues have achieved and of the work that I've done to support them, knowing that the impact of the teachers and other staff in Rockford Public Schools impacts thousands of lives. 

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?

In my earliest college years, I was blessed with a zoology teacher, who was so engaging and passionate, that I wanted 'more' science.  Having previously planned to become a businesswoman, this was a departure from my long-standing plan, and not too long after, I found myself majoring in science.  Ultimately, I ended up choosing science education as a profession.  My years in the classroom were absolutely incredible.  I was empowered by my colleagues and building administrators.  They encouraged me to challenge myself, continue learning, and explore leadership opportunities, which ultimately led me to pursue a degree and a career in educational leadership.  The common thread here is that people matter.  Their influence matters.  The people that I have been blessed enough to have as teachers, colleagues, and administrators have inspired me.  We should always consider the splash that our actions can have.  Let our splash be positive.

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?

Never stop learning.  I am more curious now than I have ever been.  The more I learn, the more I realize that I have a lot to learn. Challenge yourself to explore learning in areas that push you out of your comfort zone.  This will allow you to understand others and to best support them, so that your impact can be most broad.

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