Delany McKillip:

Amber Patterson didn’t always want to be a teacher. There are a few other things she wanted to be before she became a teacher. 

She wanted to be a vet, but there were some downfalls with that. The schooling and the money for the schooling were big issues for her. She still likes doing vet things. She does a lot of vet things on her family's farm. She originally wanted to be an agriculture teacher, but she would have some obligations in the summer because she would still have to do ag things in the summer instead of having summer off if she wasn’t an ag teacher. She had to decide in college if she wanted to be a state FFA officer or if she wanted to play basketball. She agreed on state FFA because she thought it would get her farther in becoming an ag teacher. 

There were some regrets that she had when she was going to school to be an agriculture teacher. She wishes she would have played basketball in college because she could have had more experience. She has always wanted to coach; she coached Cassville Middle School volleyball and Potosi-Cassville High School girls JV basketball. Now she is in Potosi and will be coaching Potosi-Cassville varsity girls basketball.  She always knew she wanted to coach, and Brad Bierman, the previous Potosi-Cassville girls varsity basketball coach, offered Patterson the opportunity. She said, “I am up for the challenge!” This was one of many factors for her to come and teach at Potosi, as she would be able to be the head coach for the girls' basketball team.

When a teaching position opened up at Potosi, she knew it was her chance to come back and be a teacher at Potosi. She took the place of the previous science teacher, Mr. Liechty. Since she went to college to be an ag teacher and not a science teacher, she has her teaching license, and she is now working on getting her science certification, so she can continue to teach science. 

Since she had the chance to be the head varsity coach for girls basketball, she took that as another factor in her leaving Cassville to come to Potosi. She enjoyed Cassville a lot. She liked the atmosphere of the school. However, coaching played a significant role in her moving schools. Patterson stated, “Traveling every day to come to Potosi for practice makes for a very long day.” When Patterson was a student teacher in Potosi, she enjoyed it. She taught with Tracy Brunton, the ag teacher at Potosi. A lot of people encouraged her to come back when she had an opportunity, she took it.

This all leads to where she is now and why she is doing what she is doing. She always loved teaching students and she wanted to help them in some way Patterson said, “I like helping the students in the real world and preparing them for the real world. I'm not here to set the kids up for failure; my job is to assist them in becoming civil human beings.” All the students seem to enjoy Patterson being at their school and being a great teacher. Patterson has been busy teaching science classes here at Potosi and preparing for the girls basketball season. 

Natalee Fried:

Ms. Patterson is the new head coach of girls basketball, but she is not an unfamiliar face. Ms. Patterson is now teaching at Potosi High School, but before she started teaching here, Ms. Patterson student taught in our agriculture classroom with Mrs. Brunton in the fall of 2020. She went on to teach 7th and 8th grade science, 7th grade math, and a high school Math Matters class at Cassville High School. 

While teaching in Cassville, Ms. Patterson helped coach the girls JV girls basketball team last year, along with assistant coaching the varsity girls. Once Brad Bierman resigned as head coach at the end of last season, this gave Ms. Patterson the opportunity to take on the job. “I have a love for basketball.” This is what led Ms. Patterson to take the head coaching position. She has always dreamed of being a varsity coach, and she wants to be a big part of the Potosi-Cassville girls basketball success. Ms. Patterson sees the potential that this team has and hopes to expand it. 

Ms. Patterson began her coaching career in the summer league that took place in Prairie Du Chien. Junior team captain Elle Peirce stated that Ms. Patterson, “Made us come together as a team.” Varsity players Lillie Cooley, Elle Peirce, Matty Udelhofen, and Madi Weber all said that Ms. Patterson does a good job coaching the team and holding everyone accountable. She is a very competitive coach and that is what they want. Everyone on varsity is excited about the changes with a new coach and what this season has to bring. 

Many girls within the varsity team are looking forward to a fresh perspective within the team. Girls are looking forward to Ms. Patterson as the coach because of how competitive she is, and how well she did coaching during the summer season. She is a very understanding coach and is always there for the team, but she also makes everyone work hard and wants everyone to succeed. She pushes everyone to be at their best, and she does not let anyone give up. She sees the potential that this team has and she wants the girls to see that as well. Team captains Natalee Fried and Elle Pierce hope to bring a positive attitude to the whole team, one thing that all the varsity players wish to see. By doing this, they hope for better team connection and more commitment from the girls. More commitment from girls will lead to more competition within the team, and that is what the team needs.

When players were asked which teams they were most looking forward to playing against, three specific teams came up: Belmont, River Ridge, and Shullsburg. Many girls are looking forward to playing these games because they are fun and competitive, and these are also the most physical games of the year. Sophomore Matty Udelhofen said, “Everyone plays and competes hard; that’s what makes those games so fun.” River Ridge was one of the first teams to be named when the girls were interviewed. They all want to beat River Ridge so badly because they have always been a big rival to us, but also because Potosi beat them in the summer season, so now the girls want to beat them in the regular season and show everyone what they are capable of. 

All of the girls are ready to face these teams with their new coach, and although Ms. Patterson may be new, she has a great attitude and competitive expectations for the team. The team has not set any specific goals, but they plan to be competitive in the conference.