Person of the Week: Amanda ReevesBy BRITTNEY MANGUM,
From August to May, children everywhere endure what most of them see as torture and adults see as a valuable necessity: school. Over the course of those months of grueling hard work, they have daily interaction with teachers who generally have the most significant impact on their lives. One of the amazing teachers that some students have the privilege of seeing each school day is Amanda Reeves.
As impossible as it may be, Reeves does actually have a great life outside of her classroom and job.
She moved to Quitman from Illinois when she was 15 years old.
“My dad started working at Dart not long after I was born,” said Reeves. “After my dad had been there for 15 years, they decided to open a plant in Mississippi, and he decided to move to Mississippi to work at the new plant. He still works there.”
Although she was excited to move to Mississippi, Amanda learned that she would have to move away from one of her sisters. She has a younger sister who is 26 and another sister who is five years older than her. Her older sister was in college and decided to move to California instead of coming with the rest of the family to Mississippi.
“She took my little sister and me out for pizza before we moved to Mississippi. I guess that was the turning point for us since she was moving to California and we were moving to Mississippi,” reminisced Amanda. “If I’d known what that dinner really was, I would’ve held on to it a little more. It’s hard because I miss her dearly.”
Although she was no longer close to her sister, Amanda did gain something else when she moved.
“Before I moved, my camp counselor told me I was going to move to Mississippi and meet some good ole country boy, and he will sweep me off my feet. I met him in October when I was 15, and we’re still together. I married my high school sweetheart,” stated Amanda. “Brad is my husband. He’s definitely the man I needed to marry to make me into the person I was supposed to be. He’s rough around the edges, rugged, burly, and definitely a Mississippi boy like my camp counselor told me I’d meet.”
She has two children that she loves and would do anything for: Gavin and Kyah.
For over six years, she and her family have attended Bethany Church, and Amanda has taken on some great responsibilities there.
“I’m part of the kid’s church ministry at Bethany. I teach the kid’s program, Thrive, on Wednesday nights,” stated Amanda. “I’m also on the media team. I share different posts, pictures and videos.”
She enjoys her church and church family, and over the years, she has grown in her relationship with Christ.
“God has always been with me through everything,” said Amanda. “Looking back, I can see things more clearly than when I was in the middle of things. I have learned a little more about how to praise and honor Him in the relationship we have both when things are easy and when things get hard.”
For the past three years, she has also chaperoned the youth trips to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
When she is not at work or at church, Reeves does have some different hobbies that she enjoys.
“I’ll always find some way to be creative,” explained Amanda. “I can do photography, read books, draw, paint, and write. Lately, I’ve been writing. I’m working on finishing my novel now. Hopefully, my novel will be a movie on the Hallmark channel one day.”
Amanda has always enjoyed writing and can even recall “The Fish Song” that she wrote when she was only two years old. She managed to write verses and a chorus and would sing her song the same way each time.
With all of the activities in her personal life and spending time with her amazing family, it is hard to imagine she has time for anything else; however, like many others, she has answered the call to do one of the hardest jobs around: teach.
“I started teaching English as a long-term substitute at Quitman, and then they hired me full time to teach math,” stated Reeves.
She has been with Quitman School District for 11 years and currently teaches a variety of math classes at Quitman High School. With her degree and endorsements, she is capable of teaching more subjects than just math if she ever needs to.
Reeves wears multiple hats when she is at work. She doesn’t only teach; she coaches. Mrs. Reeves helped start up the volleyball team at Quitman and coaches it each year. She also coaches archery alongside her best friend, Jennifer Hammond.
“I love being able to coach,” stated Amanda. “I get to interact with and build a relationship with the students in a way that we can’t do in a traditional classroom.”
Along with volleyball and archery, Reeves is also over the Quizbowl Team and the math club, Mu Alpha Theta. With each extracurricular activity she helps with, she is able to build positive relationships with students and help them succeed in multiple ways.
“Teachers really do care for and love our students,” stated Reeves. “We do what we think is best for them. I love it when parents and the community show teachers support in our decisions and what we do every day for our students. It really is important to look for the ways to unite everyone and not be divided.”
Mrs. Reeves loves teaching so much that she even intends to continue teaching after she retires. She just plans to teach a different type of students who need assistance.
“I see myself as a teacher, but one day I want to help teachers,” explained Reeves. “Leading professional development one day is something I would love to do. New teachers, especially, need help and advice on what to do in the classroom. I want to be able to teach and help them. I do see myself down the road as not just a teacher in the classroom, but as a teacher of teachers.”
No matter what the future holds, one thing is for sure: Amanda Reeves will continue to make a positive impact on her students and everyone she comes in contact with.