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Meet Oakside Principal Amy Tansel

Even though Ms. Tansel’s passion is helping students develop through education, she didn’t realize it right away. “I went to school to be a physical therapist. I had a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and was 1.5 years through my master’s in PT when I realized it just wasn’t a good fit. I decided to come back home to Michigan and started working at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Lake Orion as an educational coordinator. It really was an ‘aha’ moment. I loved what I did there.”
As Amy reflected back on her personal experiences as a gymnastics coach, babysitter, and active leader in Upward Bound over the years, the pieces began to come together: She loved working with kids and she was good at it. “That’s when I thought, why am I not going into education?’” And a passion was born.
Today, Ms. Tansel espouses a “high care, high expectations” philosophy. “Kids will rise to the expectations we set. They might have low expectations of themselves, but when we have high expectations and help them know we believe they can meet them, things change. We have to support kids and care for them. We have to give them the tools to be successful.”
Another thing that has heavily influenced Amy’s prospective about education is her personal faith and believing she has been “called” into education. “It felt like a ministry for me. As it has evolved, I really feel strongly that we shape and give so much to children – to who they’re going to be when they grow up. Over the years I’ve seen the struggles and challenges so many kids face at such a young age. They need a solid role model to believe in them so they can become successful adults. I treat every scholar in my school as I would treat my own kids, providing the highest-quality education in a safe environment. The decisions I make are what I would want for my own children – but that’s what I want for the entire school.”
Much of Ms. Tansel’s free time is spent with her family with five children, supporting their interests. She also really likes to read, cook, and be physically active through sports like volleyball, softball, and hiking.