Sarah Schwartz, a music teacher at Reed Elementary, received the January Excellence in Education Award at the Jan. 28, 2019, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Sarah on this prestigious recognition!
Sarah has been a member of the Ladue Schools team since July of 2008, when she took her position as a music teacher at Reed Elementary, and she has been there ever since! Her husband, Tom, is also a music teacher. He works at Clark Elementary in Webster Groves.
It only takes a few minutes in Sarah’s room to realize that she is excellent at her profession. The first thing you notice after walking in is how effectively she uses instructional time. This is an especially important skill for those educators who have shorter periods, like Sarah, who is able to easily accomplish her objectives in just 30 minutes. What allows her to use instructional time so effectively is her in-depth knowledge of the curriculum. She truly understands the end goal and the path to get there.
Principal Dr. Chris Schreiner illustrates Sarah’s teaching method with the following: “Instructionally, Sarah may be more of a magician than a musician. It seems to take only a few waves of her wand and her students are able to instantaneously perform the most complex musical pieces. However, if you are able to record her and rewatch her in slow motion, you will witness the science behind the instruction. She systematically breaks down each musical piece into parts and seamlessly plans lessons that teach the parts and build them upon one another. She also selects and presents the same skills using a variety of instructional strategies to meet the diverse learning needs of her students. Learning is not an option in Sarah’s class. She exhibits high expectations and is determined that all students perform at high levels.”
Sarah is not only focused on her own music department, but she takes the initiative to seek out ways to support numerous building initiatives. She organizes “Reed Families”, art residencies, and helps plan almost every school-wide assembly and celebration, such as Veteran’s Day, Black History Month, and Fourth Grade Promotion assemblies… just to name a few. Regardless of whether it is a daily lesson, concert, or assembly, they are well planned, rehearsed, and executed.
Sarah is truly deserving of the Excellence in Education Award, because she demands and provides students the supports needed to be excellent themselves.
Sarah is originally from Arnold, Missouri. She and Tom have been married 12 years and have two daughters: 11-year-old Amelia, who is a 6th grader, and 6-year-old Lily, who is a first grader. Both girls attend Providence Classical Christian Academy.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Webster University and is certified in K-12 vocal music. She went on to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education from Webster University in 2011.