Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Sarah Pepper
Congratulations to Ms. Sarah Pepper of Columbia High School, selected as this week’s Teacher Spotlight recipient!
Ms. Pepper began her career in education when she was placed as a Secondary English Teacher through the Teach for America program at Butler High School. She fell in love with the profession and ended up teaching at Columbia High School, where she says she fell in love with the relationships she was able to foster with her students and colleagues. She adds that teaching is one of the most challenging things she’s ever done, but it’s also a very worthy challenge that focuses on being better for her students. For Ms. Pepper, no other career would be as rewarding or satisfying.
“She’s a great teacher,” says Columbia Principal Clifford porter, who goes on to say that she has a great knack for building relationships with the students. Twelfth grade student Jaren Pierre says, “Ms. Pepper’s class is very interactive. We do a lot of group projects, a lot of discussions, and that’s helped me a lot as a student because it’s allowed me to expand my critical thinking.” Mollie Olivera, another of Ms. Pepper’s students, says that “she is always there when you need her, and she gives the best feedback on work.”
If there is an overarching theme to Ms. Pepper’s classroom, it is that she creates a positive culture where students feel valued. That tone is set each day as she greets them at the door with a positive smile. She says, “I think the most important thing is building up students – letting them know that they [can] feel safe and comfortable.” She adds that, while it is important to master standards, what she really wants them to remember is that someone cared a lot about them.
Ms. Pepper likes to bring her personal interests and hobbies to the students as well. She has coached swim, sponsored the debate team, and even shared her love of travel with students by taking them to Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and Spain. Clearly, she is having a tremendously positive impact on student lives every day.