Amanda Knotts, the new administrator for Brooks-Yates School, found her passion while in college.
While earning her bachelor's degree in social work at Bowling Green State University, Amanda worked with Special Olympics.
"It was my first experience working with kids with disabilities, and I loved being with them," she said.
Marriage brought her to southern Ohio in 2009, and after working as a case manager at Adena Health System for a year, she joined the Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Through her work as a service and support administrator, she worked with Christine Croyle, the former Brooks-Yates administrator. When Christine decided to leave her position, she recommended Amanda for the job.
The job, which Amanda started in August, has been a challenge, but she is enjoying it, she said. Among her first goals is to determine what the future for Brooks-Yates is.
"We have to ask, how can we serve kids in school in school differently?" she said. "We have no elementary program now. Is there something we can do with that age?"
Amanda oversees two teachers and two aides who work with 11 middle and high school students. She said she sees her job as a mentor to her staff, as well as extra help in the classroom.
"I love working with kids in the classroom," she said.
She also loves the camaraderie that has already developed among staff members. What she hopes to foster, as well, in her staff members is a sense of independence and confidence in their teaching styles.
For guidance, she's been able to reach out to her predecessor, Christine.
"She's been mentoring me. It's really nice to have her out there," Amanda said.