USNA Volunteer Spotlight: Amanda Payne

Get to know the 2023-2024 USNA President through a question and answer session with Volunteer Coordinator Helen Jahangir.
Q: Names of children currently at USN or have graduated from USN.  
A:  Amara graduated from USN in 2019 and is graduating from George Washington University this month. Lia graduated from USN in 2022 and just completed her freshman year at Duke. Clay is a rising junior at USN (Class of 2025). All three started at USN in kindergarten.
Q: How many years have you been involved at USN?
A: I started working with USNA when my oldest was in second grade. The first event I participated in was our Fall Book Frenzy. That was 16 years ago, and I haven't missed a year checking out or sorting books.
Q: How are you/have you been involved at USN?
A: I've worked with Tiger Club for several years. Some may recognize my face from Sperling Gym concessions.  I've also served as volunteer coordinator for Fall Book Frenzy, service volunteer coordinator, and now I'm the incoming USNA President. 
Q: Would you do it again? Why?
 A: Absolutely! Personally, I feel that it's a way to give back to a school that has given so much to my family.  I've loved connecting with other parents and faculty through our USNA fundraisers, meetings, sporting events, and so on.  
Q: Words of wisdom? Piece of advice?
A: Soak it in. Some days feel slow, but it truly does go by so fast. Open yourself up to connecting with our incredible, diverse community and get involved. Let your child experience after school and try out different sports. Check out our international fair and bring your family to our homecoming game. Check out a Tiger Arts Patrons event. Sign up for or host an evening class. Try out Sports of All Sorts at the River Campus in the Spring. Come to Music Night. Bring your family to Fall Fest and drop by Cheek Gym for the Fall Book Frenzy  Sign up to help out at a couple of events through USNA. You won't be sorry. 
Q: What would you like to see change or stay the same?  Anything new that we can anticipate from USNA next year?  
A: I would love to see more diversity in our volunteer efforts. Representation matters, and we would love for our volunteers to reflect our K-12 student body. Our theme for next year is "Tigers Everywhere" (thanks, Evening Classes Assistant and USNA Special Events Coordinator Grace Ann Lukach '03). Look for us to show our friendly faces around campus even more. We're also increasing faculty appreciation efforts next year and possibly adding a second parent social event for each grade. More to come on that later. 
Q: What do you love most about USN? 
A: Honestly, I love the community. My children and I have made some incredible lifelong friends through USN. I remember a parent telling me that when she dropped her son off for school at USN, she felt like there wasn't a better place where he could be spending his days. I wholeheartedly agree.
Q: What else do you have going on in your life outside of USNA? 
A: I'm big on spending time outdoors, and I love to hike and kayak. I love to read, have lunch with friends, and watch sports. I've worked as a Licensed Massage Therapist for 27 years and have my own practice. Aside from all of that, I try to sneak in a visit out of town to see my family in Virginia or visit my daughters in college.

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USN Mission: 
University School of Nashville models the best educational practices. In an environment that represents the cultural and ethnic composition of Metropolitan Nashville, USN fosters each student’s intellectual, artistic, and athletic potential, valuing and inspiring integrity, creative expression, a love of learning, and the pursuit of excellence.