We are excited to announce that we have hired Amy Ashley as one of our 1st Grade teachers for the 2022-23 at Coram Deo Academy. She and her husband were a part of the Coram Deo community many years ago and are so happy to return with their twins!
She has been teaching Kindergarten and Preschool classes at Faith Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten for the last 11 years, has advanced training in reading, learning challenges and early childhood education. She and her family are strong advocates of the blessings of classical Christian education. You may see her around Coram Deo Academy already this Spring as she supports Mrs. Feeney some in Kindergarten, so that Mrs. Feeney and Mr. Barney can accomplish some strategic tasks for the school.
We caught up with her to ask her some questions, so the community could get to know her in advance of next year.
1. Are you married?
My husband Paul and I have been married for almost 21 years. We have 5 children, ages 18, 15, 14, 9, and 9. We have a set of Irish and fraternal twins in our family! Our family also includes 3 dogs and a pet rabbit; my husband says I like to collect living things.
2. Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Ball State University with a B.A. in Elementary Education and endorsements in kindergarten and bilingual/bicultural education. I went on to study Special Education at Taylor University and will finish my M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education through the American College of Education in May.
3. What gets you up in the morning?
I wake up every morning to the pitter patter of my twins’ feet downstairs and the slobbery kisses from Oscar, our Maltipoo. They are the first ones awake in our house every morning and know how to get me up and moving.
4. What are your favorite hobbies?
I enjoy knitting, crocheting, and curling up with a good book. I am an avid reader and always have a stack of books by my bed!
5. What is one of your hidden talents?
I have learned to decorate sugar cookies like the pretty ones you see on Pinterest. My daughter and I try to decorate new shapes and try new designs to practice our royal icing skills.
6. What is your favorite book and why?
Believe it or not, I do not have a favorite book. I have a love for children’s books, historical fiction, and educational books, specifically in how the brain learns to orthographically map words to read. I love the fresh smell of a new book first opened and the feel of an old book that has been read so much that the spine is worn thin.
7. How long have you lived in Indiana and why do you enjoy living here?
I was born in Indiana, raised in Arizona, and returned to Indiana 30 years ago. I enjoy the beauty of fall in Indiana and the many opportunities there are for our family in our community.
8. What meaningful event in your past significantly influenced your life?
When I was in third grade, my teacher was assigned several college practicum students to teach reading to our class. One of the students and I would run into each other at church, and she soon became someone I looked up to and inspired me at a young age to become a teacher. She ended up getting a teaching position at my school and I would see her in the hallway and at church on a regular basis. I moved to Indiana in the middle of high school and would keep in touch with her and visit when I would go back to Phoenix to see my family. She encouraged me through college from a distance and my senior year I went home for Christmas to find she was battling a rare form of cancer. I said goodbye to her on that trip for the last time before she went home to be with the Lord, but she is still with me every day in my classroom. She was a strong woman of faith who didn’t see teaching as a job, but as her ministry. She passed her passion and vision of how she wanted to impact the Kingdom on to me. Three months with Janice in my third-grade classroom fostered a relationship that changed my life. I pray daily that the Lord uses me in the lives of my students and families in the same way.
9. What historical figure would you like to spend a day with?
If I had a day to spend with a historical figure, it would be with C.S. Lewis. Knowing his background and that at one point in his life, he identified as an atheist fascinates me. Through relationships with friends, like J.R.R. Tolkien, he came back to his faith and began writing books like The Screwtape Letters and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which are widely read and have influenced so many in their spiritual journeys.
10. What would we be surprised to learn about you?
Even though I love animals, I have an extreme and irrational fear of frogs. Ask my husband sometime about the day he rescued me from a frog in our van!