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Speech coach Amanda Ams achieves MSL Coach of Year award

Kayleigh Padar

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English teacher Amanda Ams was awarded Mid-Suburban League Conference Coach of the Year award at the Conference Tournament on Jan. 27. She has coached the speech team for seven years, the entire time she’s taught here, and been head coach for six years.

“One of the greatest accomplishments is being on that trophy with people I look up to as colleagues as mentors and to share that prestigious award with them. That’s pretty incredible,” Ams said.

The award is presented every year and voted upon by all the coaches in the mid suburban league conference.

“One of the coolest experiences was when the coach was presenting my award and she was speaking about what people wrote about me,” Ams said. “Seeing all my kids turn around and look at me, saying, ‘it’s you.’ That was a beautiful moment, knowing that they see the same qualities in me, it’s humbling.”

Ams has been involved in the Fine Arts since she was in high school and performances have always been a huge part of her life. “I always thought the arts were so important. They played a huge role in my life and I always knew that I wanted to be involved with the performing arts,” Ams said.

What inspires her most about coaching the speech team is the skills students learn through performing. “It’s really about creating creative critical thinkers, writers, and speakers. Those are skills that transfer to any profession,” Ams said.

Ams’ relationships with her students are another huge inspiration to her. “I get to work with my students, to watch them transform and become poised, confident, articulate speakers. They’re gonna take the world by storm,” Ams said.

Her fellow coach, English teacher Jim Schiferl describes her as, “very optimistic, positive, and happy.”

Students credit her with the success of the entire team. “She is so supportive and she works her butt off to better the team and it’s paid off. In these past few years, the team has doubled because of her hard work and her kindness that draws people to her,” senior and speech captain Lily Buchen said. “She has changed mine and many others’ lives for the better and every person on speech appreciates her for that.”

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Speech coach Amanda Ams achieves MSL Coach of Year award