Growing up in a musical household and looking forward to her weekly piano lessons, music became Amy Krinke’s sanctuary. Whenever she had a spare moment, she could be found practicing, perfecting, and performing. Amy and her music were inseparable; she reveled in the joy it brought to her and others. By high school, Amy realized she wanted to be a music educator. Drawing upon the countless positive influences she’d had in music over the years, her teaching philosophy was shaped. Bits and pieces of the great educators with whom she worked – excellence, diligence, patience, problem solving, and a mutual passion for learning and performing – helped form the teacher Amy would become. It planted the seeds of a classroom that would be dynamic, challenging, providing a fulfilling experience for students that centers around relationships. Mrs. Krinke says “I can’t envision a more powerful legacy to honor the incredible people who cultivated the love of music within me than to empower my students with the same experiences.” The choral director at Lee’s Summit West High School, Amy is a master educator, utilizing relationships to teach music in her classroom.
Mrs. Krinke’s goal as a teacher is simple. “I teach excellence. Music is simply the vehicle,” she states. “I know my student’s heart and they know mine. I understand what makes them tick; they feel loved and accepted. We work diligently every moment because preparation, detail, and quality matter when excellence is the goal.”
Her impact is felt by students and community alike. Fellow music teacher Ryan Sullivan says, “Amy is passionate about excellence in the classroom and beyond, fostering relationships between school and community. Through these partnerships a public message of selflessness, compassion, and understanding resounds, and students learn to express empathy, experience reciprocity, and gain awareness of the many walks of life. They behave with more respect for their peers and are less self-centered, which accelerates teamwork and achievement.” Mrs. Krinke strives to instill confidence in her students, showing them they are each responsible for their own learning and beyond. “She has impacted me in so many ways that words are insufficient in trying to convey them. One of the most important lessons she has taught me is to always believe in my gifts and abilities, even if at first you don’t succeed, because you never know where they will lead you,” said former student Danielle Adair.
Selected as Lee’s Summit R-7 Teacher of the Year in April 2015, Mrs. Krinke submitted her state application to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Amy learned in August that she was a finalist for Missouri Teacher of the Year. Regardless of the outcome, many agree with her principal Dr. David Sharp, “Mrs. Krinke knows that relationship must precede rigor, and she goes above and beyond in striving to reach each student to ensure maximum growth. Amy fosters a human connection with each of her students, and seeks to be a positive influence in their lives.” Congratulations and many thanks to Amy Krinke!