INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: Michelle Anderson, Hope Charter School

Michelle Anderson is the staffing specialist at Hope Charter School.

Michelle Anderson is the staffing specialist at Hope Charter School.
Michelle Anderson is the staffing specialist at Hope Charter School.
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Michelle Anderson is the staffing specialist at Hope Charter School. Anderson currently oversees the Exceptional Student Education Department for both Hope Charter and Legacy High schools. She facilitates all Section 504, IEP and Gifted meetings for both schools, as well as teaches learning strategies for the ninth- through 12-grade students at Legacy. She also is a member of several committees and is the team mom for the baseball team. In the past, she has coached cheerleading. Anderson has been with the schools since 2010 and has served as staffing specialist since 2017. Hope Charter Principal Christy Hunt said Anderson’s heart for providing the students with a quality education is evident in all she does. “She is the truest definition of (a) team player,” Hunt said. “You can always find her helping others, problem-solving and providing encouragement. ... She is truly a treasure.”

What brought you to your school?

I used to work at Uno’s Pizzeria as a hostess. Some of the guests became regulars, and each visit, we would chat about different topics. Two of the teachers at Hope would come in with their families weekly. They shared wonderful stories and their experiences at Hope with me. I knew that it was a school that I would want to be a part of: small, friendly and family-oriented. 

What do you love most about your school?

I love our students and staff. Hope and Legacy have dedicated and passionate teachers, along with administrators and support staff. It gives me a sense of family and belonging. I really become invested in my students, and I want to play a positive role as they navigate the high school years. I hope to empower them to have faith and belief in themselves. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is to see my students reach their “aha” moments. I love to see them reach their potential and beyond.

What would you be if you weren’t in this profession?  

I think I would love to work in a bakery. Baking gives me feelings of happiness and comfort. I love to bake and share with my family and friends. 

Who influences you?  

My family and my friends that have become family have had the biggest influence on my life. My parents supported me growing up in all aspects of my life: school, sports and religion. 

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

I had the most wonderful fifth-grade teacher, who poured so much love and effort into all her students. She is the person who first made me love learning. In high school, I had the most amazing math teachers in ninth (Mrs. Mancino) and 10th grade (Mrs. Gilmartin). They made learning the more complex math concepts so easy and related with color-coded notes, words of encouragement and patience as I learned the steps to solve the problems correctly. 

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

The “Little House on the Prairie” books were my all-time favorite books to read as (a) young girl. I would compare what happened in the books to the actual show. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family, craft, go shopping with my mom and relax on the beach. 

If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?

Julie Andrews. My dad was a huge fan of hers, as well, and that’s something we bonded over. Now that he’s gone, that memory brings me peace when I’m missing him. 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would love to be able to teleport to all places that I have family. It would allow me to spend time and visit with them at a moment’s notice. 

If you could only listen to three bands or artists, who would they be and why?

Carrie Underwood (because) she has a song to go with every feeling; Alabama (because) they were one of my dad’s favorites; and Guns N’ Roses for the days I need something different.

What was your go-to lunch and favorite snack as an elementary student?

Bologna and cheese with mustard, and potato chips on the side. 

What is your favorite holiday and why? 

Christmas! Everything about it brings me such happiness: decorations, food, movies and music. 

Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?

I had two very close friends that I did everything with. We are still in touch through Facebook and Instagram as we watch all our kids grow up and reach milestones. 

What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?

I was captain of our high school swim team all through high school, I was part of the youth ministry at my church, tutored, babysat, (was) on the yearbook committee, (was) in National Honor Society, and I worked with our theater and drama department. I graduated No. 22 in my class out of 223 students. 



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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