A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Amanda Palmer

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Amanda Palmer

As a member of the Portage community and the Finance and Information Specialists for the Food Service Department for Portage schools, Amanda Palmer is a vital piece of a huge puzzle making Portage the great community that it is.

Palmer does a variety of different tasks and works very closely with the Director of Food Services to help. She has to audit meals, reconcile sales, maintain budgets, invoice for events, and track equipment. She also ensures compliance with regulations, optimizes the financial position, and improves efficiency through cost-saving measures.

Palmer’s success comes from a long line of strong women who showed her that goals are worth fighting for, all she has to do is focus and work hard. Her grandmother taught her how to work in an office environment, which she grew to love. Overall, Palmer thinks that the majority of her success is because of her family and the success that they proved was possible. 

“I was blessed with being able to grow up with strong women in my life. They showed me that whatever my goals were/are, I can achieve them with hard work and focus. My mother was a housewife and took on so many responsibilities, as mothers do, and was so proud of just being a mom. My grandmother used to work for the Trustee's Office for the court of Gary, and that’s where I grew a love for the office and paperwork atmosphere,” Palmer said.

Palmer started her career in the baking industry, but after her mother tragically passed away, her goals and ambitions shifted. She wanted to be able to spend more time with her family, her husband, and four daughters, so she started working in the Portage school district. After being a classroom assistant for a few months, she was able to reach her goal of working in the business office.

“When my mother passed away my goals and ambitions shifted. I wanted to be able to have more time for my children and my husband, and to be there for them right away, whereas before I couldn’t. I wanted my family to know that I was close. I saw an opportunity to work for the district of Portage and started working part-time at Willowcreek, in the classroom as an assistant, always knowing that the goal was to work in the business office in some capacity. After only a couple of months, an opportunity arose and I jumped and have been soaring ever since,” Palmer said.

Palmer loves the fact that she is part of a big team, all with the same goal in mind. She loves the fact that she is a part of helping to not only provide for the children within the district but also help the staff to get the necessary tools and supplies to perform their duties with ease. She also strives to introduce new things to the students, contributing to their physical and intellectual growth, and helping them to reach their full potential.

“One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is being a valued member of a highly effective team with a shared goal. Our objective is not only to provide food to children, ensuring that they receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch while at school, but also to equip our staff with the necessary tools and supplies needed to perform their duties with ease and efficiency. We also continuously strive to introduce innovative and new offerings for our students, which contribute to their physical and intellectual growth, enabling them to reach their full potential,” Palmer said.

Outside of work, Palmer has many different hobbies. One of her hobbies is collecting unique stationery - such as pens, markers, and other office/stationery supplies. She also loves to wax stamp, write, and make personalized letters to her family and friends.

“I have a particular fondness for collecting unique pens, markers, and other office/stationery supplies, and I find great pleasure in wax stamping and sending personalized cards to my loved ones. Randomly surprising family and friends with customized gestures is something I enjoy because it communicates that they are cherished, and someone out there is thinking of them and wishing them well. I believe such acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can brighten up anyone’s day,” Palmer said.

Most importantly, Palmer enjoys spending her free time with her family. Palmer has a husband and four daughters, and a new grandchild, keeping her busy outside of work.

“I love doing several activities with my family that bring us together and create lasting memories. We love exploring new places through long drives, visiting parks, tending to our garden, indulging in movies, and listening to all genres of music. We (my husband and I) make it a priority to attend any school events that my daughters are a part of, supporting them wholeheartedly in whatever they choose to do,” Palmer said.

Palmer’s activities that she does with her family are a direct result of her childhood and the people that raised her. They would very often go on long drives, providing an opportunity to spend quality time together, share stories, and sing and dance.

“The things that I hold dear and enjoy doing today with my family are a direct result of the values and experiences that were instilled in me during my upbringing. As a child, my family and I would regularly go on drives, providing an opportunity for us to spend quality time with each other. We would share stories and enjoy music and dance. These activities left a lasting impression on me and continue to play a significant role in shaping my current interests and passions. My goal is to continue to pass down these traditions, life stories, and love to my children and grandchild,” Palmer said.