For Sarah Lombard Martin, becoming a teacher was a no-brainer. "I always loved school," said the 27-year-old Coleytown Middle School teacher. "When I was little, I would play school with my friends and I was always the teacher. In our neighborhood, I started a homework/going green club and would give out assignments."
As she grew older, Sarah, said her interest in teaching also grew. She went from playing school to becoming a camp counselor and later, a resident assistant at UConn, where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.
"I loved being in that leadership role. That interest was always there," said Sarah, who teaches eighth-grade language arts.
A 2011 Teacher of the Year nominee, Sarah, who grew up in Canton and lives in Stratford, started teaching four years ago at Coleytown Middle.
Just as she has always had an interest in teaching, Sarah said she has always enjoyed reading and writing, which is why she became a language arts, or English, teacher. The only part of her career she had never pinpointed was what grade level she would teach.
"I got my master's in education and I'm certified to teach grades 7-12," Sarah said. "But I never said, 'I'm going to be a middle school teacher.' "
Having applied for both middle and high school teaching jobs in the area, Sarah made the decision to teach middle school English in Westport after she met Kris Szabo, the principal at Coleytown Middle.
"I knew she was the type of person I wanted to work for and learn from," Sarah said. "I knew she would inspire me."
Today, Sarah said she can't imagine teaching any other level.
"I love this age group. They still enjoy reading and writing, and they're still really sweet," Sarah said. "Middle school is tough for kids: They are trying to find their place in the world and I like helping them through this tough time."
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