Amy Bossard doesn’t take no for an answer. When one of her students didn’t want to come to an awards ceremony on the last day of school for seniors, Bossard asked her why.
The student replied that she didn’t care. Bossard answered, “I care, and you are going, and you are going to come say hi to me.”
The student protested again and again, but Bossard had the last word with, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” The student just smiled. It’s that kind of encouragement and caring attitude that makes Bossard a perfect fit for Ankeny High School’s Success Center.
“I think that my sarcasm and sense of humor helps me,” say Bossard, who has been teaching in Ankeny for two years. “I listen to my students and really help them through whatever problems that might be having. I don’t want them to live my high school experience — I want them to make it their own.”
Students can be identified for the Success Center by missing more than 10 days of school, by failing one or more classes or by not meeting standards on state tests. They also reach out to students who have told one or more adults that they are not happy with school or don’t have many friends.
“I think we are helping by not only offering help but an environment where they are with peers that are like themselves,” says Bossard, who holds degrees from both Iowa State University and National University in San Bernardino, Calif.
Bossard has approximately 70 students in grades 10 through 12 who she sees every day. She has a morning session where she instructs groups of students each period to help them with study skills and getting caught up in classes. In the afternoon, she sees students during a three-hour block who need help keeping up in their classes and gaining back credits.
“There are some kids that don’t want to be saved,” says the Winterset native. “But reaching through to those kids — it’s awesome. It makes my job worth it all.”
Bossard, who with her husband are parents to 1-year-old Cy, urges students to stay with school, no matter what the circumstances.
“High school is not the end or beginning of your life — it’s just another chapter in your life,” she explains. “One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life is not getting that high school diploma.”