Photo by Vickers Photography
Riverwood Elementary Teacher of the Year Sarah Blair saw the profession as her mission field. This is her 14th year of teaching, 11 of those at Mustang.
When Blair was in high school, she was convinced she was going to be an oceanographer, studying killer whales. When the obsession passed, she set her sights on being a high school English teacher. Teaching the younger grades wasn’t for her.
“My senior year in high school, I was an aide for a transitional-first classroom,” she said. “That’s when I knew I had to be an elementary teacher. I declared my major going in as a freshman in college and never looked back.”
When she had the opportunity to transition to media director, the decision was easy.
“Initially, I chose the library because of my love of reading,” she said. “However, as I did my coursework, I fell in love with the concept of co-teaching and partnering with classroom teachers to teach skills and lessons in out-of-the-box ways using technology, makerspaces, and other fun resources.”
Becoming the media director also provides a greater opportunity to interact with many more students each year. She loves that moment when a student suddenly understands a concept, finds a book they love or simply discovers something new.
“There are countless students that I encounter year after year that keep that spark alive,” she said. “It might be one that just lights up when they see you at school, but more often it’s that student that desperately needs a positive adult connection in their life. They might try really hard to make it difficult for you to love them, but you know they need it the most. As cliche’ as it sounds, it’s the connections with those students that make the job worthwhile.”
Blair said her family helps her be a better teacher. Her husband, Toby, future principal of Central Middle School, is an assistant principal at Mustang High School. Their children attend Mustang Schools as well.