Sarah Blair: Above and Beyond

educatorWhen Sarah Blair worked with special education students in high school in Shelbyville, she knew she had found a calling.

Fifteen years later, the Picadome Elementary teacher relishes every day she spends with her special education students.

“I love being able to reach children who learn differently,” Blair said. “Like when I work with children with autism, they see the world differently from me. Their creativity and thought-processing are different, and that’s exciting.”

It’s also exciting for families whose children get to work with Blair, according to Picadome Principal Jennifer Hutchison, a former special education teacher herself.

“Sarah builds relationships with both students and parents and uses her creativity to find ways to motivate reluctant learners,” said Hutchison, the mother of three school-aged children. “I would be beyond ecstatic for my children to be taught by Sarah Blair.”

Enthusiasm and high spirits are watchwords for Blair, a 32-year-old who has taught special education at Picadome for three years. Previously, she taught third grade at Lexington Christian Academy.

“I wanted to come to Picadome because of the special education program,” Blair said. “It is a terrific school with a strong community.”

And strong academics. Last year in state testing, Picadome placed third among Fayette County elementary

With her case load of 13 students, all of whom are mainstreamed, Blair teaches reading, writing and math and is a first-grade math co-teacher.

It makes for a busy, varied day that starts at 7:45 a.m. Good thing Blair is nimble as evidenced by her work with the school’s running program.

She helps out with the Girls Empowered and Motivated to Succeed program, running 5Ks with the girls all over town. Blair also organized a Fun Run fund-raiser that raised $13,000 for the school.

“That shows her ability to go above and beyond for the students,” Hutchison said.

Blair routinely asks students for their after-school activity schedules so she can attend games and performances.

Said Hutchison: “She does much for Picadome inside and outside the classroom.”