Congratulations to Sarah Meldrum, the 2018-19 Teacher of the Year at River Heights Elementary!

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Congratulations to Sarah Meldrum, who has been named River Heights Elementary’s 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year! Although this is only her third year of teaching, Meldrum has already developed a natural way of connecting with and caring for her students individually.

Meldrum didn’t always plan on being a teacher. After graduating from cosmetology school and earning an associate degree, she started substitute teaching and realized she loved working with students. She went back to school and pursued a degree in elementary education at Utah State University. “Sarah is who you would want in every classroom in your school,” shared Stephanie Adams, the principal at River Heights Elementary.

“She is a phenomenal teacher,” continued Adams, noting the high skill of Meldrum’s teaching while still being a fairly new teacher. “She is able to anticipate the misconceptions of students and plan her instruction so that kids are really able to get a great grasp of the concepts, no matter how complex. Often times she will bring in guests or plan activities that help kids have as many ‘hands-on’ experiences as possible.”

On Friday afternoons in Meldrum’s classroom, students engage in a hands-on STEM activity. They plan, create, build, and test what they make. Recently, her students participated in an activity where they used materials to create a safe landing for their astronauts (giant marshmallows) traveling in a small paper cup. They used straws, mini-marshmallows, and paper to lessen the blow and keep their astronaut safe. Lessons such as this help students learn crucial teamwork and collaboration skills, practice building and executing plans, and gain a basic understanding of the problem solving real-world questions.

“I’m most passionate about the growth I see in my students,” Meldrum shared. “I love seeing something that was challenging become easy, though we don’t use the word ‘easy’ in my classroom. I love seeing them push past not understanding something, to enlightenment.”

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