Alumna of the Year

Amy (Thompson) Leigh

Amy (Thompson) Leigh is the HHS Alumni Association’s 2022 Alumna of the Year. Amy was born and raised in Fort Thomas and is a ’82 graduate of Highlands High School. She was chosen as Alumna of the Year because of her continued love and support of Fort Thomas schools. She has been a long-time substitute teacher in the district and has spent several fall seasons teaching Ft. Thomas 4th graders the history of Fort Thomas. She is currently a Highlands golf coach as well as a volunteer for the Alumni Association. Her love for Highlands comes naturally to Amy as her mother, Jackie (Nulsen) Thompson ‘47, was also the HHS Alumna of the Year in 2008.

Around the Fort Thomas community, everyone has great things to say about Amy. Brian Robinson, FTIS superintendent, says of Amy, “Amy has been such a positive presence in our school district for a long time.  As an alumni, parent, teacher, and supportive community member she embodies the Fort Thomas spirit.  She continuously seeks to make our community better, support our teams, and bring enthusiasm to our mission.  As a substitute teacher, and the Ft. Thomas historian for our students, she is a recognized face for countless students and alumni throughout our schools.  I can’t think of a better Alumna of the Year.”

Jon Stratton, former assistant superintendent says, “Amy’s biggest impact on our student experience was her leadership in the Fort Thomas History Unit for the 4th graders across our district. She was instrumental in the planning of the unit, and then was the main executor of the plan. She personally led all the students, on different days, through a tour of the main section of town – pointing out the different types of architecture, showing old photographs, and discussing former businesses. Additionally, she led a talk at the Tower to discuss the history of the fort and its importance to our community. Her walking tours would take a week of her time, and her participation in this event continued for more than ten years. During that time, I would estimate that she played a large part in developing a sense of appreciation, or at the very least, a base of understanding about our community to more than 2000 students.”

Bert Richey, HHS varsity golf coach, continues, “Coach Leigh has been such a big reason for the boy’s golf team’s success over the last 5 years.  When I started coaching the golf team, she was always there to help with anything.  She wants the kids to have an experience they will remember forever; you can tell it’s not about the end goal with Coach Leigh, it’s about maximizing the journey along the way to build as many positive experiences and memories as possible. One thing is for sure, she loves the bluebirds and players love having her around.  Thank you, Coach Leigh, for all you do for HHS.” 

A little more about Amy Leigh.

Amy attended the University of Kentucky and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. Amy started out as a nursing major but decided to go into education instead, based on the advice of her dear friend and fellow Highlands alumna Lisa Holmes Brown. Amy says, “Lisa suggested that I switch majors from nursing to education. She saw something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself. I am grateful for her advice because I do believe teaching is the perfect fit for me.” Amy also received a master’s degree from Northern Kentucky University.

Amy’s first teaching position was at Woodfill Elementary where she taught fourth grade. Amy had a wonderful mentor, Jan Willig, who took her under her wing as part of the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) for new teachers. Amy enjoyed teaching for 9 years at Woodfill. After her children were born, Amy volunteered for 16 years in classrooms. She then decided to return to teaching by being a substitute teacher for Fort Thomas Independent Schools. She says each day in the classroom is an adventure.

Amy has given back to the Fort Thomas School District and the City of Fort Thomas in many ways over the years, Amy chaired the Ruth Moyer KY Kids Day for 9 years. She volunteered in the Moyer library and the cafeterias at Moyer, HMS, and HHS. She has served on the Board of the Highlands Athletic Booster and in various capacities with the Highlands girls and boys basketball teams, the boys golf team and with the HHS Title IX Committee. 

Amy’s family includes her husband Steve Leigh, and their children McKenzie Leigh (HHS Class of ’16) and Ryan Leigh (HHS Class of ’19). Amy’s parents are also both Highlands Alumni: (Dick and Jackie Thompson, Class of ’47) as well as her two sisters and all her nephews. 

Scroll to Top