INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: Amy Chapel, Windermere Elementary School

Amy Chapel is the media specialist at Windermere Elementary School.

Amy Chapel is the media specialist at Windermere Elementary School.
Amy Chapel is the media specialist at Windermere Elementary School.
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Amy Chapel is the media specialist at Windermere Elementary School. She teaches media/information technology lessons; facilitates book check-outs; and serves as the news crew sponsor, Battle of the Books coach, and textbook and digital device manager. She also facilitates author and storyteller visits. In 2020, she was honored to be chosen as Teacher of the Year at her former school, SunRidge Elementary School. She said she is proud to serve the Windermere Elementary students and community.

What brought you to your school?

Last year, an amazing opportunity opened up for me to take over as media specialist here at Windermere Elementary. With some encouragement from my friends, I made the leap and left a school that was my home. WES has welcomed me with open arms!

What do you love most about your school?

Windermere Elementary is a tight-knit community in a cute little town. The parents/PTO are so involved and connected.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I love helping students find a great book or series — especially those reluctant readers who suddenly love reading and come visit before school for a new book. Also, the most magical time of year: the Book Fair!

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

I think I would probably be an accountant. Don’t tell my students, but my favorite subject is actually math.

Who influences you? 

My parents are retired teachers of 35-plus years. I got my humor and ability to connect with anyone from my dad, for sure. I got my love for teaching the little ones from watching the best kindergarten teacher ever, my mom!  

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

Mrs. Brown, my third-grade teacher. She would bring her pet ferrets, hamsters and even her cats to school and let them run around the classroom. She read the best books and was always so kind. I’m sure that is why third grade is also my favorite grade to teach.

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

I loved “Noisy Nancy Norris.” My mom read it to my sister and me. Nancy was so wild and loud but learned self-control.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My three kids keep me very busy, but I do love to read, swim and cheer on the UCF Knights (three generations of Knights in our family!).

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

Julia Louis-Dreyfus from one of my favorite shows, “Seinfeld.” She is so funny and held her own on a show full of men.

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

Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay and Billy Joel.

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

I’d have to say school pizza.

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

I had lots of amazing friends growing up and, thanks to social media, we all keep in touch. But, my best friend forever is my sister, Leslee. 

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

I played the clarinet in band, was in honor society, Tri-M, Interact and BETA club. I graduated ninth in my class, and I received multiple college scholarships.



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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