Position: Seventh Grade Teacher
School: Lawton Chiles Middle School
School District: Seminole County Public Schools
City, State: Oviedo, FL
Music that Describes Sarah
Sarah Hall was nominated by her colleague, Melissa Pappas.
Ms. Hall is an inspirational, passionate, innovative educator who significantly and positively impacts the lives of her students, their families, her peers, and her community. She was selected as the 2020 Seminole County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, and she has been rated "highly effective" for each of her 17 years of teaching. Her many accomplishments include creating and hosting Roaring Readers: How to Train Your Cub, a school wide caregiver support group to help build early literacy skills in the students' homes. Families met with teachers to get information, build community, create Make and Take materials, have free childcare, get free dinner and books. She also hosted a free community event, Read with a Hero Day, where children had the opportunity to be read to with their families by first responders and other community heroes, including local celebrities and elected officials. At the event, children were given free books and connected with local law enforcement in a positive way. There have been two such events so far, and they continue to positively impact the community.
Ms. Hall has been called upon regularly to provide input at the district and state levels regarding decision-making within education. Most recently, she was recognized at the state and national levels for being an educational leader in digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was featured on a local news outlet for providing social and emotional resources to parents to help support their children during COVID-19 and digital learning.
Additionally, Ms. Hall coordinated and co-hosted a four-day professional development webinar entitled "Culturally Responsive Conversations for Educators and Caregivers Conference." The webinar had attendees from 20 states and featured 16 panelists, including the 2020 Florida Teacher of the Year. The conversations of focus during the webinar included equity and equality within education. They were aimed at increasing educator awareness surrounding diverse populations to ensure classrooms are inclusive and informed, and to allow teachers to better advocate for their students and their families.
"Sarah continuously goes out of her way to ensure the needs of her students are met," said Pappas. "She is an excellent example of a lifelong learner, and she's always open to incorporating new ideas and strategies to benefit her students. Her vibrant, uplifting personality not only makes her someone that her students trust and look up to, but that her community continuously recognizes as someone they can trust for relevant, considerate input on various matters. She is a true inspiration within the educational field, and her dedication impacts the future for so many. She truly embodies the term, 'LifeChanger.'"