When South Anchorage High School opened in 2004, English teacher Amy Habberstad was one of the original staff members. Thirteen years later, she is still working to make sure her students don’t take their classes for granted.
“Everyone writes on the job, and kids don’t think that,” explained Habberstad. “They think of English as sort of poetry and reading Shakespeare, but there’s a lot more to it and I want them to appreciate the language skills that they need to have to be successful in college and in the workplace.”
With a cheerful and charming personality, Habberstad has been an inspiring educator over the years. As the current school year comes to an end, many of her ninth graders gave her rave reviews.
“She’s super sweet, and kind, and really helpful. She cares about all her students and she just wants to help everybody do their best,” said ninth grader Chloe Manderson.
Freshman Kaiden Wilshusen said Habberstad’s class is his favorite of the day.
“She’s super fun to be around and always super bubbly and she just makes the class super fun to be in.”
Habberstad said her success and ability to connect with her kids is simply because she loves what she does.
“I just like the energy. And I love that every single day of my life, every hour, is different,” said Habberstad. “I’m never bored because it’s always something new. The content may be the same, but the kids are different and the needs of the kids are different each time so it makes it really exciting to be in the classroom.”
Along with reading and writing, Habberstad also stresses the importance of getting the full, high school experience.
“I really believe that school is supposed to be a fun place to be so I encourage kids to participate in extracurriculars,” said Habberstad. “To go to school plays. To go to concerts. To attend sporting events. To really be a part of South Anchorage High School.”
Habberstad practices what she preaches. She is the lead organizer of the prom and Senior Fun Day. She is also the event coordinator for student government and works on the Social Emotional Learning, or ESL committee.