by Belinda Westfall
Amy Gilmore has always been a talker, and that big “N” (for “needs improvement”) scrawled into the “Talks When Appropriate” box of her elementary school report card didn’t stop her. When her chatty disposition turned into trouble, her mom tried to keep it positive.
“Maybe one day you’ll be able to use that,” her mom said.
Looks like Mom was right.
An Alumnus of Inola High School, Gilmore earned a bachelors degree in English at Northeastern State University. She devoted the early years of her twenty-one year marriage to husband Troy, an Oklahoma State Trooper, to staying home with their two children, Ty and Halley, before taking a position at Inola High School.
Gilmore is now in the eleventh year at Inola, where she teaches sophomore English and Media Broadcasting. Her work in the school is more than a career, though. It is a passion. She believes that educators should treasure their students.
I believe as teachers we should love students where they are,” said Gilmore.
And that is just what she is doing.
During summer break of 2015, Gilmore was one of fifteen Oklahoma teachers who received a grant to launch an online student news site. She has been producing the school newspaper for seven years, but wanted to take the student news beyond the printed page. Like other teachers across the nation, Gilmore realizes the role technology plays in students’ everyday lives, and providing valuable information for students in the palms of their hands gives teachers another avenue for reaching young people.
During the Fall 2015 semester, Gilmore is participating in media training sponsored by Oklahoma Scholastic Media at the University of Oklahoma. Over the course of two weekend sessions, trainees will have opportunities to hear from media professionals and put new skills to use through lab assignments and group projects.
“I am ready to take these great ideas back to work on Monday and put them to use in my classroom,” said Gilmore.
In addition to her work in the school, Gilmore is actively involved in her community, where she serves as the women’s ministry leader for the First Baptist Church of Inola and for the Rogers Baptist Association, an affiliate of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. She wants to help other women discover what she calls their true identities in Christ. She feels excited and optimistic about the opportunities around the corner, not only for her students and the women in her ministry, but also in her own life. Having earned a masters degree in Administration in 2014 from Southern Nazarene University, she is keeping her heart and mind open to what may be in store.