Amy Olesen is finishing up her first year at Willowbrook Elementary, but is looking forward to many more as the schools English Language Learner and Talented and Gifted teacher.
Prior to coming on board at Willowbrook, Olesen taught for three years before spending eight years doing in home daycare while raising her kids. Sons Carter, fifth grade, and Spencer, first grade, attend Centennial Elementary, but Olesen’s husband Jeremy, teaches fourth grade at Willowbrook.
“It’s kind of fun,” she says of teaching in the same school as her husband. “We’ll definitely never leave. This is our home.
As an ELL teacher, Olesen says she feels like a representative and connection for the rising population of non-native English-speaking students and families. In fact, she will be taking on ELL full time next year because the need has grown so drastically.
“I love that I get to be an advocate and really be a voice for them,” she says. “I’m really passionate about that.”
Olesen says she loves learning about different cultures and backgrounds from her students, and that she learns something new every day. She also enjoys working with small groups and getting to know her students on a more personal level.
“I love what I’m doing so much, I can’t see myself doing anything different,” she says.
One thing Olesen says she really enjoys about not only teaching in Altoona, but living here is the small town community feel. She and her husband stay really busy with the boys’ sporting events which includes: baseball, basketball, football, and wrestling.
“That keeps us going all year long,” she laughs. “But we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
They also enjoy bike rides, attending Southeast Polk Ram events, and just being active. She says with all of them being out of school during the summer, they can really enjoy time together which usually includes a family vacation and season passes to Adventureland and the local pool.
“I love being a contributing factor to the Southeast Polk district,” she says. “It’s great being part of such a progressive district.”