Amy Brandriet and her family are ready to begin the 2016-2017 school year in a new atmosphere. Amy is the Koch School principal and brings with her a very diverse background that will be beneficial to both staff and students.
Amy is a DeSmet High School graduate. After graduation, she obtained her dental assisting degree from Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown. “My mom always told me I would be a teacher, but I didn’t believe her.”
Amy worked in the dental field for 3-4 years before going back to school. She got her undergraduate degree from Dakota State University in Madison and went on to get her Master’s degree from South Dakota State University in Brookings. “I took the non-traditional route to getting my education degree.”
Amy has a wide range of teaching experience from birth to 12th grade. “I feel this wide range of experience helps me be able to see the big picture of education.” Amy previously taught special education in the Hamlin and DeSmet school districts. She also took some time off of teaching to stay home with her children. Mostly recently, she was the principal and special education director for the Viborg-Hurley School District. “I have spent most of my education career at the middle school and high school level, but am really looking forward to working with elementary-age staff and students.”
After several years of working in special education, Amy realized how demanding teaching could be. “I realized I was not cut out to be in one classroom all day. With my experience in special education and working with different stakeholders, I was able to see the big picture and gain the confidence I needed to become an administrator. In this role, I feel I can help more children and work with all teachers toward our common goal.”
Being new to a school district and community, and getting to know the students, families and staff is a challenge to anyone, but one which Amy is looking forward to. “I have felt very welcomed by staff within the district and have received an outpouring from the community. This community is very intertwined with the school, which I have not really experienced. I am looking forward to working together with the staff and other administration to further learn the big picture of the district.”
Amy hopes to use her diverse background in special education and computers to make things more efficient for the Koch School staff. “I want to help keep people happy and do things more timely. With my background, I feel I see things from a different perspective.”
Amy and husband, Russ, have four children – Braden, Brooklyn, Bo and Brinley. The family enjoys sports and being in the gym together, camping and outdoor activities. “My husband and I also have a passion for turning old things into new. We enjoy remodeling houses, and our children are learning a trade which they can use in the future.” Russ owns and operates his own spray foam and drywall business and plans to continue that in the Milbank area. Braden and Brooklyn will both attend middle school. Braden is in 8th grade and Brooklyn, 6th. Bo will be a 5th grader at Koch, and Brinley will begin school in kindergarten.