Saying a Sad So Long Partner to Mrs. Strader

May 27, 2021


Mrs. Strader teaching her third grade class.

The time has come where everyone is wrapping up and packing things away until the next school year. However this year, Sarah Strader is going to be packing up her classroom for the final time.

Strader, who teaches third grade, is leaving Fair Grove Elementary at the end of the year. Strader has been working at Fair Grove Elementary for the past 13 years and she has helped many children on their path to graduation. “I LOVE watching students learn and grow throughout the year. Third graders learn a lot academically as well as socially in the time they are a third grader,” said Strader. That was just one of the many profound things Strader had to say about her students and teaching.

Strader started as a substitute teacher in 2007; the next year, she was hired in a third grade teaching position. One of her 3rd grade colleagues, Victoria Glenn, who has worked with Strader from the beginning, reflected on one of her favorite memories, “I remember getting to take inventory of all the 3rd grade books over a Christmas break. I loved having Sarah all to myself to work together on that project.” Glenn shared how much she will miss her coworker and how she has handled the news of Strader’s retirement: “I have been having a lot of trouble with it. I have taught with Sarah since she came to Fair Grove and she is like a mom to me. She is incredibly hard working and always thinks of every detail. She is thoughtful and caring, and encourages us all.” Mrs. Glenn continued, “Mrs. Strader is ALWAYS on top of everything. She helps keep the workload here sane by all she willingly does EVERY DAY! But the thing I will miss most is the way she notices. Sarah notices what we need. She notices when we like or need something. I can’t even tell you all the times I’ve come to work and a baggie full of goodies she just happened to notice I need, like or want was just hanging on my door. Sarah has started so many of my school days so well for so many years. She’s been like the mother I lost while I worked with her. I don’t know what I will do when I have to come in to work with no Sarah next year. She is always the first one here, and almost always the last one to leave. No one outworks Sarah Strader. No one.”

Another elementary teacher who began her elementary career as a fellow 3rd grade teacher, Makenzie Medley, described her experience working alongside Strader, “I’ve worked with Sarah for two and half years and in that time Sarah has always gone above and beyond for her students and her coworkers. Sarah is the kind of person that will stay late, come in on the weekends, go home and bake 5 cakes (her cakes are delicious) she has always gone the extra mile for everyone. She has one of the most giving and loving hearts that I know. We will deeply miss her!”

Dani Kepler also offered sincere praise for her fellow 3rd grade teacher and shared, “Sarah Strader is a very thoughtful person. As a teacher, she is always thinking of her students and how she can help them. As a colleague, she is always thinking of her third grade team and what she can do for others out of the kindness of her heart. I will miss her for this reason and many more. She is so knowledgeable about curriculum and is an expert math teacher. She keeps our team on track and is always available to help I’m anyway she can. Not to mention, she is always sewing up something for one of us, baking a cake for a colleague’s birthday, or crafting up something useful to give. She is a very generous and giving person with a big heart! She definitely takes care of us at Fair Grove. I hope she enjoys her time off with all of her grandchildren that mean so much to her! Sarah takes care of her people, and FG will miss that! My first year teaching here at Fair Grove, I got to platoon teach with her. Sarah is so easy to work with and loves collaborating and working as a team! She treated me as her equal, even though her experience far exceeds mine!”

As professionally sad as it is that Strader is leaving, there is personal good coming from it. Strader explained, “I am retiring because I can and want to.  I plan to spend more time with my 15 grandchildren, do a thorough house cleaning, garden, and travel more with my husband as we horse camp. I am looking forward to not grading papers, working 12 hour days, doing all the extra paperwork required, going to meetings, and not having time to apply what is learned.”

“I want to be remembered as the teacher that cared about her students.” Strader added, “Yet, the also were encouraged to learn, and they had enough confidence to keep trying. I always tell them that it’s ok to make mistakes. Just keep trying to get it right.” Fair Grove will remember her as such.

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