Passion for teaching endures for All-American volleyball alumna

Amy Rahne’s affinity for Dominican has come full circle.

A 1997 graduate, Amy developed a love for the University and a love for teaching while on campus. Now she has reconnected as an advisor at Dominican, albeit roughly 800 miles away. Amy is an assistant principal at Newton Middle School in Colorado and also helps facilitate a graduate class through the Educational Development and Services (EDS) program in the School of Education and Counseling Psychology.

The opportunity to give back to Dominican was welcomed.  Amy is passionate about the amazing education she received at Dominican and feels the need to give back to the university that gave her so much.

“Anyone who asks me where they should go to college, I tell them small schools. There is nothing better than a small college. They take good care of their people and that’s probably the No. 1 thing at Dominican,” Amy says. “They really focus on the individual.”

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That’s how it felt for Amy. She is a fourth generation Colorado native who was determined to leave the state to go to college. Dominican recruited her to play volleyball and she did well.  Amy was captain of the Dominican team that won 24 of 26 matches in 1996 and played all the way to the National Small College Athletics Association tournament championship game against York College in Michigan.  She earned Small College All-American honors for three consecutive years.

Amy also excelled academically. Though she had a passion for biology, she had a yearning for teaching. During her biology courses on campus, science professor Dr. James Cunningham helped Amy alter the curriculum so she could major in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in science.

“He was awesome. He made it happen,” Amy says. “He adjusted it for me, which you would not get at a big school. I wanted to go to a smaller schools so I would get that kind of attention.”

Amy’s teaching ambition grew when she started tutoring classmates at Dominican and then volunteered to tutor elementary school students and students in the AVID program at San Rafael High School. Amy was prepared to remain at Dominican in graduate school to earn her teaching certificate, but had promised her mother she would return to Colorado upon graduation.

Amy acquired her teaching license and master’s degree at Denver University then embarked on a career in education. She taught fourth, fifth and sixth graders and became an assistant principal five years ago. She has four children, one whom is considering coming to Dominican. Amy, winner of the 1997 Spirit of Alumni Award, has returned to campus numerous times to participate in alumni activities, such as Reunion Weekend 2017.  She volunteers to host and organize events for Dominican Admissions in Colorado.

Now on a path to being a principal, Amy relies on her leadership skills. She honed them as captain of the Dominican volleyball team and with Associated Students of Dominican University (ASDU).

“They provided me with leadership opportunities and I’m an assistant principal now, so I think that made a difference,” Amy says. “They put a lot of faith in me that I would do what I said I was going to do.”


May 22, 2017