We all know that teaching is a challenging career, but as many of us can attest - the right teacher can have a life-long positive impact on students.

This week’s Someone 2 Know is a native Nevadan who is devoted to the kids in her classroom and the Sparks community she serves.

Creative, energetic and genuinely engaged are just some of the words used to describe Amanda Leeper who teaches fourth grade at Spanish Springs Elementary.

"Some people just have the gift,” says Principal Jim Verdi. “The smile, the love for the kids, the attention to detail in her classroom..."

"I really like her, she's really nice and also my family knows her really well," says 5th grader Courtney Hummel.

The Sparks community is home to Mrs. Leeper, she grew up and went to high school here. "This is my 12th year teaching. I've been more in the intermediate grades. But, I've been here the majority, so 11 years - and love it," says Leeper.

And the students love her!  Leeper's fellow educators are big fans, too!

"She got great energy,” says Verdi.  “She's running our social committee and makes a lot of the fun events happen in the school, which is so important to keep the staff moral high."

One of the events Mrs. Leeper works on is the Run For Education. The district-wide event allows each school to raise an extra $2,000 every year and she helps make it happen for Spanish Springs Elementary

Kendall Inskip is the Executive Director for the Education Alliance of Washoe County, which runs the event. "Amanda Leeper is one of the superior teachers. We call them school run coordinators."

Leeper says it’s not about her. "Funding is so needed, in all aspects - academic obviously, and of course, the physical."

Leeper is also a mom to two young boys and admits being a teacher plus participating in school committees is a busy balancing act, but she wouldn't have it any other way. "It is in my blood. My father was a teacher and so it's just kinda been passed down - the love, the light bulb effects and everything and even my brother is currently going into education" says Leeper.

Even students from past years value the impact Mrs. Leeper has had on them. "She's really nice and she's funny - she tells a lot of jokes."

Amanda Leeper was recently recognized for her dedication and hard work. She was awarded employee of the month at Spanish Springs Elementary.