Amy McDaniel, Teacher of the Year Nominee at A. E. Butler Intermediate

Amy McDaniel is in her ninth year as a certified teacher in Early Childhood - 4th grade. She has worked in education since 2000 and has been in Quinlan ISD since 2014. In QISD, Ms. McDaniel first became the campus administrator at D.C. Cannon Elementary School over the campus ACE program. Within a year, she returned to the classroom as a third-grade reading, math, and science teacher at A.E. Butler Intermediate School.

Amy has been surrounded by educators her entire life. Her father was an educator and coach for 41 years. Her grandmother started college at 36 and had 22 years of an exciting and successful career. After raising her children in their early years, Amy decided to go back to college and get her degree. At 37, she graduated from Texas A & M-Commerce. Amy’s heart belongs to her students and helping them to become the very best they can be in the classroom and life. Her heart’s desire is to develop a love for learning in the hearts of her students that will last them a lifetime.

Amy was asked to describe a content lesson or unit that defines her as a teacher that targeted the following questions:

How did you engage students of all backgrounds and abilities in  learning? How did that learning influence your students? How are your beliefs about teaching demonstrated in the lesson or unit?

Amy responded, "As an educator, I try my best to integrate a variety of concepts and subject matters in my lesson as possible. I find it essential to make connections between various learning domains within each experience. One content lesson my students enjoy is a STEM Plan a Zoo lesson, during our adaptation unit in Science. The students collaborate to plan a zoo habitat for an animal that would reside in a zoo. The students use a kid-friendly search engine to research information about their selected animal, including its adaptations, habitats, and the types of predators and prey each animal possess. After gathering information, the students then use graph paper to design the size of the enclosure for their animal using the area formula to determine the exact size. They are to include what is needed inside the enclosure to help the animal adapt easier to its environment. Once each group is done designing their enclosure, we come together and determine how to build our zoo. We discuss what animals do not need to be beside each other, how we can put some close together to share water access, and what type of animals need to be in specific areas due to temperature. We then combine the space from each habitat and add it all together to come up with a total area of the entire zoo. I explain to them at the end of our construction, how they are such AMAZING engineers!"

Amy McDaniel is a wonderful example and leader among her peers as she serves on several committees. She explains, “As an educator, I believe it is crucial to serving the WHOLE child. Yes, we are here to teach academics, but there are so many of our students that need so much more. If we cannot help meet basic needs and give them some emotional support, the academic learning is not likely going to be very successful. It is my honor to be the one to invest in my student’s lives, to let them know they are special and unique in their own way, loved unconditionally, while at the same time being firm and consistent.”

Congratulations, Amy McDaniel!