Teacher of the Month: Amanda Marshall


Photo by Caitlin Murphy

Mrs. Marshall, shown holding her Teacher of the Month sign, currently teaches AP U.S. History and Honors NSL. She has been a teacher for 17 years, all of which have been at WCHS.

By Caitlin Murphy, Copy Editor

From telling stories about the robber barons of the Gilded Age in AP U.S. History to teaching students about checks and balances in Honors NSL, Amanda Marshall certainly brings social studies to life in her classroom. 

To any student who has had the privilege of having Marshall as a teacher, it seems as though she had been planning on being a social studies teacher for her whole life because of her passion for and knowledge of the subjects she teaches. However, Marshall had never thought about becoming a teacher until college. It wasn’t until one of her history professors suggested teaching that she considered pursuing it as a career.

“I had a world history professor who was very motivational and inspirational, and his love for history was so exciting,” Marshall said. “I started tutoring kids in the class and he asked me one day if I had ever considered teaching. When I said no, he told me I should really consider it. It was honestly his love for social studies that got me interested in teaching.”

While Marshall has taught a variety of subjects over the years from Sociology to AP Psychology, she is primarily known for teaching AP U.S. History, commonly known as APUSH. This course is infamous for being a challenging introduction for freshmen to AP classes. For Marshall, the challenging element of the course is one of the reasons she loves teaching it.

“For the first time many of the freshmen are challenged in a way they have never been,” Marshall said. “Getting them to think more critically and not just for right or wrong is an important skill for life, so getting to introduce them to that is fun.” 

While many teachers at WCHS spend most of class time lecturing information in front of a class of students, Marshall takes a different approach to teaching. 

“I try as much as I can to have the students do something with the information,” Marshall said. “I’d much rather give students resources and let them discover the information and struggle a little bit, because that’s an important part of learning. I want kids to get around the room, talk to other students and answer specific questions instead of just lecturing and hoping the information sticks in their brains.”

Throughout the year Marshall prioritizes getting to know her students beyond their academic performance on tests and assignments. She tries to structure her class to meet the needs of her students and cater to their strengths and weaknesses. Marshall’s dedication to making class both enjoyable and instructive is obvious to her students, which is one of the reasons so many of her students love having her as their teacher.

“Mrs. Marshall is an amazing, kind teacher who teaches the class so well,” freshman Danica Huang said. “She manages to be funny and make the class fun while covering all the content in an understandable way.”

Outside of teaching, Marshall is involved in a variety of different ways at WCHS from sponsoring three different clubs to running Rho Kappa, the National Social Studies Honor Society. However, her biggest commitment is coordinating Student Service Learning (SSL) for all students at WCHS.

“[SSL] is very mindless in the sense that it’s just data entry,” Marshall said. “On a day that has been challenging, it’s nice to be able to just sit for a few minutes. It also puts me in contact with a lot more students, so I feel like I get to know the students a little bit better, as well as admin and counseling as we work through certain SSL issues.”

From sponsoring clubs to teaching countless different subjects over the years, Marshall has left her mark as a member of the WCHS community. However, what really makes Marshall stand out as a teacher is both her passion for the subjects she teaches as well as her dedication to help develop her students into stronger learners and more mature human beings. 

“It’s amazing how freshmen mature so much from August to June, and just to feel like you helped them develop into good citizens and students is one of my favorite parts of teaching,” Marshall said.