New English Teachers Share their First Impressions of FHN


Credit to Michaela Manfull

English teacher Ashley Seiss stands in front of a cutout of her favorite animal, the bison.

This year, Francis Howell North welcomed two new English teachers, Amanda Barnhouse and Ashley Seiss. Barnhouse teaches English I and II while Seiss teaches English I and Pre-AP English I to freshmen. Both teachers have enjoyed how welcoming and kind other staff members have been to them. They have received cards, flowers, and assistance from everyone while adjusting to the school.

“I’ve just heard so many great things about this school and the community and all the teachers and students,” Barnhouse said. 

Barnhouse has not taught at any other schools before, but she has student taught and is a graduate from Truman State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in English education from this past May. Her favorite part of teaching at North so far is all the memories she has made and will make with her students in the future. 

“I love the ways in which books help us make better sense of the world,” Seiss said. “I think we as people are natural storytellers, like that’s how we communicate and engage with others. So, to teach a course that is all around communication and storytelling and how we interact and understand is really cool.”

Even though it’s her first year at North, Siess is already the sponsor of the school’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance Club and MAC Scholars. She taught for five years in the Nashville, Tennessee area and moved to Missouri this year for her fiance, a doctor, who was relocated to a hospital in the area. She enjoys that FHN is more organized than her previous school and looks forward to working with all of her students.

“The kids are why we do what we do no matter where we are,” Seiss said.