Alumni Tale: Amy Criswell ’92 ’96G

What did you study at UNH?

BA in Theatre, MEd in Elementary Education

What were you doing 1 year out of college?

One year out of college, I was living with my folks in Centre Harbor, NH, working as a one-on-one assistant to a kindergarten kiddo, coaching a high school drama club, and planning my wedding!

What were you doing 5 years out of college?

Five years out of college, I was a homeowner with a master’s degree, teaching first grade at Barrington Elementary School in Barrington, NH.  I was also expecting our first (and only) child!

What were you doing 10 years out of college?

Ten years out of college found me as a stay-at-home mom while our son attended kindergarten in Dover, NH.  It was a half-day program, with no option for full-day attendance.  Leaving the classroom for a bit to fill this role was the best decision we could make for our family.

What are you doing now?

Now, we live in Lafayette, CO… and have since 2012!  I am teaching first grade at Alpine Elementary School (an IB World-STEM school) in the St. Vrain Valley school district.  Our son is in his senior year at Dawson School, and we are in the midst of the college admissions process.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

I use my Theatre degree every single day!  Being a teacher, especially of early elementary students, is rather like a performance day in and day out!  In fact, speaking before groups of parents, colleagues, and district officials feels like a performance at times. My graduate school classes in education come to bear daily as well.  The lessons I learned from my fellow students in the program as well as my mentor teacher and the other teachers at ‘my school’ follow me every day and enable me to be my best self in the classroom!

Why do you believe in UNH?

I believe that UNH has a big heart, and is small enough to foster meaningful, individual relationships between students and faculty, and students and students.  I am still in very close contact with numerous faculty members from the Theatre Department, some of whom were even at our wedding.  The friendships I formed at UNH, including my spouse, have endured and continued to shape me into the person I am today! My UNH experience has helped me to be my best self, and the person I am proud to be today!