The Royal

The Student News Site of Hempfield Area High School

The Royal

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Angel in Disguise: Miss Amanda Montell

High School teacher Amanda Montell stands outside her Autism Support classroom (Donovan-Shope Photo)
High School teacher Amanda Montell stands outside her Autism Support classroom (Donovan-Shope Photo)

¨She is one of the most special people I know in this high school. She always gives 100% and is always happy to do so.¨ With these words, Senior, Alex Martorella  describes one of our most compassionate, caring, and dedicated teachers at Hempfield Area High School, Miss Amanda Montell.

Miss Montell is an Autism Support Teacher for grades 9-12 in our building. She works with students who have intellectual disabilities and autism. Her inspiration to teach special education was sparked by a history of neurodivergence in her family. She attended Westmoreland County Community College and then Slippery Rock University, dual majoring in Elementary and Special Education. 

Throughout her career at the High School, Montell’s main objective has always been to create inclusivity between special education and academic students. According to Montell, her greatest challenge is finding that necessary balance in life. “The most difficult thing for me, [about] being a teacher, is finding a work-life balance due to taking on so many different roles and wanting to find as many opportunities as possible for my students.” 

In addition to her teaching, Montell coaches for the United Track & Field Team. She recently even decided to start a special education Bocce team for her  students. Montell expressed pride in Rain Rally which helps with inclusion of her students and supports Special Olympics PA. The involvement and time she dedicates to these students showcases her warmhearted and selfless personality. Mrs. Montell, together with Mrs. Murray, Mrs. Huth, and Mr. Helfrich, also took on a new endeavor this year: the Perfectly Imperfect Boutique. This store will help create job opportunities for her students and has been wildly successful thus far.

“Miss Montell’s  dedication to our high school is inspiring,” said Murray. “She is always looking for new ways to get her students involved with different groups in the high school to help the entire student body to grow from each other.  Her creative ideas and making things happen for her students and those around her are pretty remarkable.”

Sometimes the most impactful person in the workplace is hidden right in front of us.  It can easily be said that Miss Montell defines the meaning of compassion through her relentless efforts to provide the best educational experience for special education students. To Mrs. Murray, Miss Montell is a true “angel in disguise” and a model for her colleagues, and her students alike. “I have learned so much from her; it is amazing. She is calm, consistent, and a true model for being proud, prompt, prepared and polite.”

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About the Contributor
Kaylee Donavan-Shope, Content Editor
Kaylee Donovan-Shope has been attending Hempfield Area for the entirety of her life and is now a senior at the high school. She has been writing for The Royal for three years. Besides being heavily involved in the newspaper, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, dancing, and traveling. When she is not in school, Kaylee is usually occupied by her waitressing job. She enjoys speaking to her regulars and building new friendships with people of all ages at work. One of her many aspirations is to explore the world and meet many new people, diving into the extroverted and sociable side of her personality. As of now she plans to continue her dedication to clubs such as, United Spartans, Journalism, Project 18, and Mini-THON. She wants to make the most of her senior year continuing her involvement in clubs, expanding her knowledge, and by spending her time with beloved friends and family. She intends to attend college soon after graduation to continue her education majoring in Psychology and is ecstatic to see what is to come in the future.