Looking back on her youth, Amy Fronk says that when she attended St. Charles’ Munhall Elementary School, she never thought she’d one day return as a teacher.
Yet that’s exactly what happened.
“As a child, no I did not think I was going to be teaching at Munhall,” Fronk said.
Fronk attended Munhall in the 1970s and graduated from St. Charles High School in 1986. She began teaching at the district’s Davis School in 1993 before taking a break to raise her children from 2000 until around 2011, she said.
Fronk said she is happy that Munhall still has the same neighborhood feel as when she attended, even though its student population has increased substantially since she was there. Currently, 497 students attend Munhall.
“I admire that it still feels like such a naturally invested group and although our boundaries now encompass many neighborhoods, our school community is very cohesive,” she said. “Students revel in collaborating with their peers and the parent community enthusiastically works together to create great programming and support for our students and staff.”
Fronk, who teaches second grade, decided to become a teacher because she wanted to make a positive contribution, she said. And she is doing just that, Munhall Principal Jarrod Buxton said.
“She always puts her students first,” Buxton said. “She sets high academic and behavioral standards for her students, and is supportive and flexible to meet the individual needs of students, allowing them to meet those expectations.”
Buxton also said Fronk always is prepared for the day and plans “differentiated, engaging lessons for her students.” Fronk believes in bettering herself in order to better serve her students.
“Mrs. Fronk is always working on her craft through her participation in professional course work and collaborating with building specialists,” Buxton said.
While the pandemic created new challenges for teachers, Fronk is proud of how everyone in the district stepped up to deal with those challenges.
“So many people were so flexible,” Fronk said. “And it made me in awe of a lot of adaptability by both the teachers and families.”
She prefers in-person teaching to remote teaching.
Fronk said she is not the only member of her family to be a product of the St. Charles School District. Three of her children graduated from St. Charles East High School, formerly St. Charles High School.
She said she’s thankful for the education the district provided her children.
“Our teachers have done just such a fabulous job preparing my own children for being successful in school and being contributing members to their community and having the skills to take initiative in their own careers,” Fronk said.
Fronk said she knew she wanted to return to teaching. She missed forging relationships with students and their families – one aspect of teaching that she likes best, she said.
“In this grade especially, the students are just so excited about the world around them,” Fronk said. “And it’s just really contagious.”