LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Sarah Roark

Position: Family Consumer Science Teacher
School: Ripley High School
School District: Jackson County Schools
City, State: Ripley, WV

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Sarah Roark was nominated by her colleague, Susan Matheny.

Mrs. Roark's school spirit and drive for teaching changes and impacts the lives of the students and staff she works with every day. She has rebuilt the Family Consumer Science program, which was slowly dying. Over the past three years she has been in this position, she has more than doubled the size of the program. The variety of classes she offers through the Family Consumer Science program teach students everything from parenting skills to restaurant management. Her creativity draws in the students and involves them in the learning process. Students come to her class to not only learn, but to be heard.

The following are quotes from her students.

One student states, "Thank you for always listening to my dumb problems and offering the best advice. Thank you for being the best teacher/person ever." 

Another student states, "I am beyond thankful for all the advice you've given me in the short time you've known me. You are honestly like my mom when we are at school. I know that if I ever need anything, you will be there for me in a heartbeat, even if it is because of something stupid I've done. I just want to thank you for everything and let you know that I appreciate everything that you do for me."

A third students states, "Thank you for all that you have done for me. I can not even begin to tell you how thankful I am for someone like you. You helped me get through a really tough situation and always checked on me. I loved your class and the energy you brought everyday."

Mrs. Roark is more than a teacher. She is a caring adult who listens to her students and supports them. However, Mrs. Roark is more than just a listening ear and encourager. She invests her time and efforts to make learning memorable and fun. She is not a textbook teacher. Mrs. Roark brings her lessons to life through costume, role play and community involvement. 

Her outstanding accomplishments are too numerous to list, but here are a few:

* During kitchen safety class, she created a Kitchen Safety Investigation which actively engaged students in the learning process of kitchen safety. 

* In her parenting class, she would have students put on a "pregnant belly" and perform relay races across the football field to create empathy for pregnant mothers.

* She initiated a partnership with the local elementary school so that her students could read to the kindergartners and build relationships to better understand the needs of children.

* She led the FCCLA club in passion projects and community activities, such as baking items for bake sales to raise money for community needs. They were well represented at the Homecoming parade, with Mrs. Roark as the rallying leader.

* Mrs. Roark would hold pumpkin carving contests for her foods class and display the finished products in the main hall of the school for her students to be recognized by the entire student body.

* She started the Viking cafe, which simulated a workplace environment for students to learn about the food service industry, customer service, and culinary arts. She provided these students with work skills to prepare them for career opportunities. 

* She led the staff Morale committee to improve attitude and compassion for students at Ripley High who were choosing industry careers.

* Mrs. Roark would lead the students in raising money for families at Christmas time, food drives for local food pantries, and families in need.

* She inspired her students to plant flowers around the high school to serve the student body.

* She honors her seniors with trophies and picture books at the end of the year recognizing their achievements and the fun times they had in class. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of Mrs. Roark's accomplishments. The quotes from her students say it all. She is loved and has truly changed lives at Ripley High School. Her school spirit is recognized by staff and students. She always rises to the occasion and brings enthusiasm to learning. Mrs. Roark is truly a LifeChanger!



Comments (96)


Carlos Posted over a year ago

It is evident that Sarah loves her job. She spends countless time preparing for her classes, not only at school, but during out of school hours. She is always trying to come up with new ideas and fun things to do for class interaction and student development.

Deidre Manns Posted over a year ago

Sarah brings fun and learning together in the classroom. It is obvious she loves her job. Her students like her and enjoy her class. She hopes to improve the kitchen equipment for her students.

Missy Posted over a year ago

Sarah is the leader of her school’s morale committee. She has been making holiday cookie platters, pumpkin rolls, and pies to sell to raise money for classroom improvements to boost staff and student morale. She goes above and beyond for her school and colleagues . She is most deserving of this award.

Rhonda Jelic Posted over a year ago

Awesome teacher

Susan Matheny Posted over a year ago

Sarah has continued to deliver excellent instruction with spirit and excitement through Microsoft Teams to her students daily. Her county has been teaching remote more than in person and she continues to educate and motivate students. She dresses in costumes and continues to involve her students in quality learning during this global pandemic.

Susan Posted over a year ago

Sarah is a great teacher. She deserves this award.

Jana shinn Posted over a year ago

Thank you for all you do for RHS students !

Deanna lutz Posted over a year ago

Well deserving teacher for this award

Susan Matheny Posted over a year ago

I've known about Sarah for years since I worked with her mom for 18 years. I would hear stories of Sarah's excitement and passion for life before she was an educator and she has carried that passion and excitement into her teaching. Every time I look at Facebook I see a post from Sarah or someone who knows Sarah where she is promoting school spirit and reaching out to her students. Not only that, but she is a mother of young children and puts the same energy into her family as she does her students. I have one of her children in class and he has the same excitement for life that she has. She instills high standards and passion in all areas of her life and it is exemplified even in her own children. Her children have inherited her love and passion for live. Sarah is an excellent teacher, a wonderful loving parent and a huge asset to our community and at Ripley High School. Sarah Roark deserves this award!

Christina Posted over a year ago

Sarah portrays many of her mother's rock star teaching skills and personality. Both have been nominated for this awesome award and both greatly deserve to be LifeChanger of the Year!

John Matheny Posted over a year ago

Wanting to use her award money to purchase new kitchens for her classroom, WOW!! Such dedication and determination for a teacher to use their own money to benefit her students.

Emily Durst Posted over a year ago

Sarah is full of energy and positivity. She is a great example for her students.

Susan Matheny Posted over a year ago

Sarah creates an inviting classroom. She decorates and puts a lot of time to into her classroom to go the extra mile. Her students love her.

Crystal Putman Posted over a year ago

I've heard wonderful things about Sarah and wanted to give her my support. #lcoy

Deanna lutz Posted over a year ago

I’m praying you are selected to receive this award to remodel your Family consumer science kitchens to make them safer for the Ripley High School students. Your program is an exceptional and progressing forward to higher standards for these students knowledge in to moving forward as they leave the setting of high school classroom.

James E. Johnson, Jr. Posted over a year ago

It is encouraging to have this caliber of an individual, nurturing, molding, and mentoring the young lives she has obviously affected. The testimonies of the children, illustrate what an impact she has had among them. Mrs. Roark has obviously learned it is not very crowded along that extra mile, because it appears she is on that route nearly everyday!

Christine Posted over a year ago

I'm rooting for you! Keep up the awesome work at Ripley High School changing lives every day!

Susan M Posted over a year ago

You so got this! You deserve this! I'm rooting for your your new Family Consumer Science updated kitchen at Ripley High School!

John Matheny Posted over a year ago

Awesome teacher!!!

Matthew Ash Posted over a year ago

Congratulations and best of luck on the next part of the process.

John Matheny Posted over a year ago

Real asset to Ripley High.

Karen Bibbee Posted over a year ago

Great teacher..loved by all. Great job Sarah.

Amy Perry Posted over a year ago

Sarah was born to teach! She creates a fabulous environment for her students and makes learning fun! This award would make a huge difference in her classroom!

Susan Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Sarah! I am rooting for your new Family Consumer Science Kitchen at Ripley High School. Even your desire to use your winnings to help the students says it all. Let's Go!!!!!

Missy Posted over a year ago

So happy for your nomination!! If anyone on this earth is a life changer, it is Sarah! Would be awesome for her students to have new equipment! This award would make that happen!!

john p matheny Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark ROCKS!!!!

Peyton Faber Posted over a year ago

An amazing teacher and one of the best people I will ever know. She treated me like one of her own kids and always let me know that somebody cared about me, she also never fails to make me laugh with her amazing jokes. Nobody deserves this more.

Savanna Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark is one of my all time favorite teachers. She taught me so many skills that I have been able to carry with me even after I have left school. I knew that if I ever needed anything, I could go to her for advice. I can not recommend Mrs. Roark enough for this award.

Mahalia Hager Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark has such an amazing personality, she brings so much joy and happiness into our school everyday!!

Sydney Scarberry Posted over a year ago

While i never personally had Mrs. Roark as a teacher, she alway gave off the best energy, even in the hallways between classes! She’s the best.

Taylor Leaptrot Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark is one of the most loving, caring, inspiring teacher I have ever seen. I only had her in class for a short period of time, but during that time I found someone I could rely on and learn from. She is passionate towards teaching and making sure her students (and kids she may never had in a real class) feel as if they have a safe place to come to, all while in a learning environment. Love her with all my heart

Trey Jones Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark is an amazing educator! I had the privilege to work with her with many projects within the school, even though never her direct student. She is more than deserving of this recognition!

Lindsey Posted over a year ago

Couldn’t think of someone who deserves this more! One of my favorite teachers to walk this earth and has had such a positive impact on my life!

Karen Bibbee Posted over a year ago

Sarah is such a Awesome teacher..Congratulations Sarah.. You So deserve this!!!

Will Posted over a year ago

I just received an email about your nomination from your profile. Congratulations! My mom tells me your are an awesome teacher.

Karen Bibbee Posted over a year ago

Awesome ,Congratulations Sarah..Amazing teacher.....

Karen Bibbee Posted over a year ago

Awesome ,Congratulations Sarah..Amazing teacher.....

Susan Posted over a year ago

Even in the time of COVIC and blended learning schedules. Sarah Roark keeps her students motivated. Every day is a new adventure.

John Matheny Posted over a year ago

Lovely Lady, very hard working teacher. Loves her students

John Matheny Posted over a year ago

Wish I had a teacher like her when I was in high school

John Matheny Posted over a year ago

Congratulations, excellent teacher

John Matheny Posted over a year ago

Wonderful teacher

London Posted over a year ago

The world needs more rockstar teachers like you! Congratulations!

Lincoln Posted over a year ago

Heard great things about! Congratulations!

Nate Posted over a year ago

Well deserved!

April Posted over a year ago

I’ve heard you are a great teacher! Congratulations!

Tanya Ball Posted over a year ago

Sarah definitely brings energy into her classroom and to those around her. She is their for her students and takes time for them by listening and with words of encouragement. She makes learning FUN for her students!

john p matheny Posted over a year ago

Sarah has been a great addition to Ripley High School. I understand she is wanting to purchase new equipment for her classroom.

William Lutz Posted over a year ago

I have only heard good things of how Mrs. Roark has impacted the lives of her students She is definitely a life changer.

Deanna Lutz Posted over a year ago

I don’t know Sarah personally, but have heard wonderful things about her and how she has impacted the staff and students at Ripley High.

Gail Benford Posted over a year ago

I wholeheartedly recommend Sarah for this honor. I had the privilege of having Sarah as a student when I was a teacher 20 years ago and also working with her when she returned to the school to teach. She is one of the most talented teachers I have ever encountered. She is beloved by students and staff. She gives so much to others and motivates everyone around her to be better!

Theresa Posted over a year ago

Sarah is very creative and a hard worker. She believes in her students and cares about each one of them..

Bea Isner Posted over a year ago

As a retired staff member of RHS, I am always so proud and excited to see the innovative things that Sarah is bringing to her classroom. She is making such a positive impact on her students and the entire school.

Justin Posted over a year ago

Great job!

Melissa Campbell Posted over a year ago

Sarah operates the Viking Cafe at Ripley. It is used as a teaching opportunity for the students. They plan, prepare, deliver meals to the staff each day. The money earned is used for the programs in her department. The teachers love it. She uses a lot of her free time in planning, shopping, and preparing for the week’s meals, but does it for the kids! Great program

Sherry Barnette Posted over a year ago

Sarah is a go-getter. She does everything to extreme! She is so creative and energetic for the purpose of making kids excited about learning and preparing for the future. Her classes are practical lessons in everyday life. Every student needs a class like Sarah's. By the way, she is a 4th generation teacher so it is in her genes!

Stacy Riffe Posted over a year ago

I had Sarah as a student and now am blessed to work with her at Ripley High. Her love for life is apparent in all she does and is a shining example to students. Thankful to be witness to her life changing!

Sydni Posted over a year ago

Thankful I got the opportunity to have her as one of my teachers. The second you walked into her classroom there was nothing you could do but smile. Her creativity and jokes always made my day. I’m lucky I got to meet her sweet soul!

Jordan Snyder Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Roark’s room always brought me comfort and joy. It was a class I never dreaded going to. She makes you feel welcomed into her class. But she is best at not making you feel alone, she’s always a shoulder you can lean on.

Brienne Posted over a year ago

I've known Sarah for several years, but recently she had my little brother in class. I can't even begin to tell you how much he adored her class. She is teaching these kids real life skills that they will never forget... and she's making it fun!

Joni Knight Posted over a year ago

I have worked with Sarah at our church. She is a wonderful teacher. She puts so much time and energy into everything she does. She is so deserving of this award.

Bethany Johnson Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark brought so much joy and happiness into the classroom. She was the one teacher I could always count on to make learning fun. Her class is so important. Home ec is a life skills class. I can tell you. Knowing basic life skills is a necessity after graduating high school and going out there on your own. Mrs. Roark is such an inspiration and really learns how to connect with each individual student.

Samara Woods Posted over a year ago

I work with Sarah daily and I can truly say that she gives 100% each and every day to her students! She is an amazing teacher and she loves her students. Her passion for teaching is demonstrated everyday by all of the creative activities she comes up with for her students. She has fun personality and the students/staff love her!

Amara Bush Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark is a great teacher and is always improving school for her students!

Jessica Posted over a year ago

Sarah has been a great friend and shoulder to lean on. With all thats going on in the world I'm glad to have her in my corner.

Meredith Stover Posted over a year ago

Sarah is a wonderful teacher. You can tell that she truly loves her job and her students. Her students love her. They always look forward to her classes. If I were to be a student again, I would definitely sign up for her classes.

Tammy Banks Posted over a year ago

Sarah has worked so hard with her new position. I was able to tour her classroom and see the huge changes she has made. I know she truly loves what she is teaching. Sarah is making an impact at Ripley High. She is an inspiration to other teachers.

Stephanie Casto Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark is a wonderful teacher! I always enjoy seeing the things that she does for her students and her classroom! Seeing the love she has for her students and school inspires me to be a better teacher.

Shelley Harris Posted over a year ago

Sarah has a passion for teaching! She loves her school, Ripley High School. She is always thinking of new ways to make learning exciting for her students. So many students at RHS want to take her class and I hope my daughter is able to have her as a teacher someday soon!

Mary Ann Mullins Posted over a year ago

Sarah is a life changer, for sure! She is such a great motivator and teacher. She spends so much of her time to make learning fun. She gives 110% in everything she does. What she is teaching in her classes are life lessons that students that age really need. She is the caring adult many children need. Her students are really blessed to have her.

Kristin Stover Posted over a year ago

As a coworker, I am amazed at Sarah’s creativity in the classroom and passion for teaching our students. I wish I could take a class or two from her!!!!!

Amber Johnson Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark is an amazing teacher. I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving to win this award. She has always been enthusiastic with school spirit. She brings life to her classroom with her costumes and silly jokes. She makes kids enjoy learning.

Emily Okes Posted over a year ago

Sarah has done an amazing job of meeting the students where they are, giving them confidence in the kitchen to try new things, and teaching them how to have fun along the way. Her students know that she has whatever they need, whether it's emergency deodorant, construction paper and ribbon, or a hug.

Deidre Manns Posted over a year ago

Sarah Roark brings joy and laughter into the classroom. Her great attitude makes the students want to be there and learn. During the school shutdown, she had a special post to share tips and recipes for students to stay engaged. She is definitely an asset to Ripley High School!

Susan Posted over a year ago

Just found out she is working on writing grants to replace her classroom kitchen. This teacher is unstoppable. She continues to work to brighten and enhance the lives of her students.

Robin Corbin Posted over a year ago

Sarah is extremely creative and very kind. She comes from a long line of top notch teachers!

Kayla Raines Posted over a year ago

Her classes teach students real life skills that every student should know as they graduate and begin their adult lives. She is an amazing teacher! She makes learning fun and interesting. All of her students love her! She deserves this award!

Joyce Groves Posted over a year ago

Sarah is my neice and has always been all in on every task she starts. Her energy explodes as she works. The great thing about Sarah is that this trait has been shared with her children who have adapted it as well. I can’t help but think that the energy she shares on Facebook is definitely exploding into her students as well. Sarah deserves this award for sure! All my love!

Adena Barnette Posted over a year ago

Sarah is wonderful! She is also teaching her kids how to run a cafe by cooking lunch for the staff each day. It's absolutely delicious.

Julia Donohew Posted over a year ago

Sarah is like a cheerleading Energizer Bunny. She's full of energy, ideas, positivity, encouragement and FUN for her students and colleagues. Her classroom is a vivid delight of color and inspiration this year. I'd like to play there and I'm old. And she hand-lettered decorative chalkboards (fancy-schmancy) even teacher's desks painted in chalkboard paint for others' classrooms before the term began. She gives it all at school and also at home for her children and husband She's an A+ teacher.

Katlyn Sarver Posted over a year ago

I had Mrs. Roark in a couple classes my junior and senior years. She never failed to make me laugh or smile everyday. The energy she brought to each lesson in class was amazing!! I loved every second with her! She is always there if you need someone to talk to. Amazing teacher!!

Annie Haynes Posted over a year ago

Sarah is such a wonderful person with a huge heart. She cares so deeply for the children she teaches. Her school is incredibly lucky to have her.

Devin Jo Dudley Posted over a year ago

Sarah Roark absolutely deserves this award! She emodies what a "life changer" is! I teach with her, but in Sunday school for preschool ages. The children learn so much from her, and so do I. She puts her heart and soul into everything she does! Please give this award to Sarah. She 100% deserves it!

Laura Posted over a year ago

She was the best teacher ever. She made everything fun!

Suzette Lowe Posted over a year ago

Her posts during the days after school was suspended in March were inspired to keep kids (and non-kids) learning!

Melissa Campbell Posted over a year ago

Sarah has a passion for learning and teaching that transcends the classroom. She spends many hours a week planning fun, creative lessons that fully engage her students. She is hands on and has a personality that makes class fun. She is a true life changer at Ripley High. Her lessons will impact her students and generations to come. What she is doing is changing perceptions for the future of family consumer sciences. She is the cream of the cream of the crop.

Laine Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Roark helped me fall in love with cooking

Christina Iman Posted over a year ago

What she does with her students is incredible -- from "Chopped" competitions, the Viking Cafe, and more. Definitely a wonderful teacher.

Beth foreman Posted over a year ago

Sarah is such a fantastic teacher. All young people need to take this class. She would make learning so fun!

Samantha Wills Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Roark and I go back to Elementary age friends!!! She has always been enthusiastic with school spirit. She is truly doing her calling and changing the lives of her students. She doesn’t care what others think of her costumes or quirky jokes. As long as her students are learning, enjoying themselves, and building confidence in life long skills to hold their own after graduating high school. She brings her all to the table for these kids!

Samantha Lavender Posted over a year ago

Mrs Roark is my sister in law and there is no doubt in my mind that she deserves this award. She is always striving to be the best she can be for herself and everyone else around her. She is one of the most creative human beings I’ve ever been around. On top of that, she cares so much about her students and it really shows. She is so proud of her students and she is there not only to teach them daily life skills that are so pertinent for their adult life but she is also there for their emotional health. If you’ve ever been around Mrs. Roark you know that she can’t help but to make everyone around her laugh. So happy that she has been recognized for being the hard working, dedicated, outgoing, and wonderful teacher she is!

Susan Matheny Posted over a year ago

I love talking with teachers in her county. Just today there were several teachers talking of the incredible things Sarah Roark is doing with her program at Ripley High School. One teacher mentioned that she is a hard worker and has really made a huge impact on the high school with her program.

JOHN MATHENY Posted over a year ago

Excellant teacher

Susan Matheny Posted over a year ago

She makes learning fun and encourages staff as well as students!

Will Matheny Posted over a year ago

I am a high school student. I have heard of Mrs. Roark through my mom and my fourth grade teacher. Mrs. Campbell. She sounds fun and I can learn life skills that will help me after I graduate.

Susan Matheny Posted over a year ago

I am so excited about the lives she has changed at her time at Ripley High School. My son is a high school student and I can not wait for him to take one of her life skills class to give him what he needs to make it in life.