Great Dreams Need Great Teachers: Amanda Townsend

“Dedicated,” “welcoming,” “selfless,” and “a blessing” are words two families used to describe Amanda Townsend, a special education teacher at Kempsville Middle School (KMS), in letters they wrote to the Great Dreams Need Great Teachers campaign.

Cheryl Woodhouse, senior executive director of middle schools, visited Townsend’s school Nov. 14 to share both families’ letters and to recognize her for making a difference in students’ lives.  Joined by Patti Jenkins, KMS principal, and David Portis, KMS interim principal, Woodhouse also presented Townsend with a gift from campaign sponsor Pinboy’s at the Beach – passes for free bowling games.

Read the letters below submitted to to praise Townsend’s work, and visit the Great Dreams Need Great Teachers website to see more entries about Great Teachers.

I would like to commend Mrs. Amanda Townsend, for being an excellent and dedicated teacher. But we have seen more than the excellence as our son’s classroom teacher; she has regularly gone above and beyond for her students. Mrs. Townsend has been our son’s English and social studies teacher since he entered Kempsville Middle as a sixth-grader in a special education classroom. Our son has Down syndrome. The first sign of Mrs. Townsend’s extraordinary dedication was when we discovered from his fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Grover at Providence Elementary, that Mrs. Townsend had visited her to learn about Caleb; what he liked, how he learned best and what worked for him in the classroom. We saw her at fundraisers/casholas outside of the school setting with the same enthusiasm and welcoming spirit that she generously gives in the classroom. Last year, when he wanted to try out for the school track team, a special education assistant was assigned to help him handle the tryout process. When a special education assistant was not available one particular day of tryouts, Mrs. Townsend stepped up and helped him that day. We have learned that these instances of extraordinary and selfless acts of service are not unusual for Mrs. Townsend. She has a heart for students and their families, while raising her own family. We know that there are many talented, dedicated teachers in this school system, and we have been blessed by one that is truly an inspiration to the profession – Mrs. Amanda Townsend.

– Steve & Denise Schmitter

I would like to recognize Mrs. Amanda Townsend at Kempsville Middle School for her exceptional performance and over-and-above service. Mrs. Townsend is my granddaughter’s special education lead teacher. It has been a blessing having her there with my granddaughter these last few years. She not only has helped her to achieve her goals set by her IEP but also has become a special friend to her. She will often talk about ‘Mrs. TaTaTa’ at the end of the day. Mrs. Townsend is always updating us on our granddaughter’s day, whether good or bad. She a lucky young girl to have Mrs. Townsend in her corner. It is nice to feel so comfortable having our granddaughter there with her. She really gets her and knows her better than any teacher she has encountered so far in Virginia Beach City Public Schools. I cannot say enough how blessed we are to have our granddaughter with Mrs. Townsend at Kempsville Middle School.
– Lou (PopPop) Caretta


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