By Valerie A. Hoffman
Communications Director, LLCA
In a vote cast by her fellow educators, Lake Lure Classical Academy recently celebrated Nancy Sarratt as its 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year. Ms. Sarratt has been with the school since its beginnings in 2010. She taught 2nd grade for nine years and is currently in her second year teaching 5th grade. She came out of retirement to join the teaching team at LLCA. She and her family were recently invited to a socially distanced reception in the school gymnasium surrounded by her fellow educators.
Ms. Cohen’s colleagues describe Ms. Sarratt as a life-long learner as evidenced by her determination in learning all the new technology that she has been tasked with learning this year as the school moved in and out of virtual learning and hybrid instruction. She has learned how to lead Zoom meetings with her students while still teaching students in-person. She has become an expert in Google Classroom and is now tackling learning Canvas, a robust online learning management system being launched to LLCA students in early 2021.
“Though many teachers with her years of experience would have given up with the new restrictions and requirements COVID has placed on them, Ms. Sarratt did not give up, “ said Barbara Cohen, School Director. “She comes every day to school with a smile on her face looking forward to teaching her students.”
Mrs. Sarratt is an expert in Core Knowledge, the curriculum used by LLCA. As such, she has become a mentor to many of the school’s newer teachers, Ms. Cohen said.
The Teacher of the Year Program honors educators who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching,” said Ms. Cohen. “The annual honor also affirms our commitment to celebrating and attracting high-quality teachers who model best practices in teaching.”
Of her career in teaching, Ms. Sarratt said, “I love working with young people, watching them grow and mature into good responsible citizens with strong work ethics, and I love knowing they can be successful and happy.” Ms. Sarratt also said that she firmly believes that the students’ experiences associated with this historic and unprecedented time in education will bring about greater strength and wisdom.
“Ms. Sarratt is an amazing person and a teacher that I definitely admire,” said fellow teacher Kay Dawkins. “I think one of her specialties is being able to help unmotivated students make progress. She meets them where they are and helps them grow academically so that they can continue to learn.”
Another fellow teacher, Allyse Searcy agreed. “Ms. Sarratt always puts her students first in her choices.”
In speaking about how impressed she has been with Ms. Sarratt, School Librarian Gayle Youngblood said, “When Ms. Sarratt moved from teaching 2nd-grade to 5th-grade, she was given a challenging classroom with a diverse group of students. Instead of being discouraged, she quickly adapted her teaching methods and lesson plans to meet the needs of all of her students. She accomplished all of this while at the same time teaching the rest of her class and providing enrichment opportunities for the gifted students.”