After transferring positions from her first teaching job at Mount Alvernia High School, OLSH Spanish teacher, Amy Turnbull, found a special community at OLSH. She has shared with OLSH her passion, faith, and love of teaching.
“I am going on 11 years here at OLSH and 28 years teaching. I have absolutely loved every minute of it,” Amy said. “There can be bad days of course, but I truly love coming in to teach every day. These kids make it all worth it.”
Just after graduating from Slippery Rock University in 1993 with a B.A. in Secondary Education and Spanish K-12, Amy was fortunate enough to find a full-time position at Mount Alvernia High School in Millvale. Mount Alvernia was Amy’s “first home” and she adored her 18 years of teaching at the all girls high school, where she also held several leadership positions.
In 2009, it became unclear if Mount Alvernia would remain open much longer. OLSH principal, Sr. M. Francine Horos, knew Amy from high school recruiting events and encouraged her to apply to OLSH.
“I heard so many good things about OLSH and Sr. Francine promoted the school so well. She just took me in,” Amy said. “After I was interviewed and began teaching here in 2010, I knew it was the place for me.”
Being able to continue to live out her Catholic faith in her teaching vocation, Amy believes that she was always meant to be in Catholic education. She is grateful to be able to “walk by faith” every day at OLSH.
“‘Walk By Faith’ is my life motto; it is in everything that I do,” Amy said. “I am so fortunate to have the presence of the Felician Sisters here, to pray with my students, and to attend Mass in the chapel.”
As with many faculty at OLSH, Amy is involved in several facets of OLSH life. She is a member of the Safety Committee, serves as a Middle States Assistant Internal Coordinator, and is the Faculty Chair of the Discipline Board. She also moderated the “Writing Your Own Children’s Book” and “Project Linus” activity periods.
“I am really fortunate to have all of these students every day,” Amy said. “I think about the sacrifices that their parents make to send them here, and realize that I am the one who is blessed to have them.”
Amy’s students and coworkers probably know that she loves teaching Spanish, loves Las Vegas Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, and always greets students in the hall with a smile, but they might be surprised to learn that she is a former roller rink DJ!
Amy and her family are huge roller skating fans and have been patrons of the Spinning Wheels Roller Rink since Amy was in high school. She began her first job working as a cashier there and by college was coming home on the weekends to DJ at the rink.
Amy also met her husband of 33 years, Gregg, at Spinning Wheels. In addition to roller skating as a family hobby, Amy keeps busy with her 17 year old daughter, Emma, and spending time with her extended family. Amy also has a step-son, Chris, and two grandchildren.
“I am very, very family-oriented. We love to spend time together, especially with my extended family for all holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations,” Amy said. “We are very deeply rooted in tradition; this and the fact that we all stay close are so important to us all.”
Amy joked that she calls herself a “lifer” who will be happy to stay at OLSH for the foreseeable future. She has a passion for teaching and loves sharing that with her students and coworkers. She is grateful to have been accepted so openly by members of the OLSH community who have helped her grow over the past 11 years.
“The support you get from the administration and other faculty is amazing; everyone just wants to help you in whatever way they can,” Amy said. “I love OLSH and I have had a chance to really flourish here, but I wouldn’t be able to do my job here without the support of everyone else.”