Kindergarten Screenings Announced:
Sarah Carlson teaches fourth grade at Cascade Brook School in Farmington after many years of teaching younger students at Mallett School and coaching Alpine skiing for Mt. Blue High School before that. Sarah moved to Farmington in 1983 because she felt it would be a great place to raise a family. Sarah is very proud of her children, both Mt. Blue graduates. Her daughter, Emma, has successfully moved on into a career as an environmental educator for Chewonki Foundation, and her son Jence and his wife Katherine own a design/build company called Maine Mountain Timber Frames. After being a stay at home mom for several years, Sarah completed her degree at UMF in 1990 and happily entered the teaching profession just as her children were starting school. In 2009 she completed her Master’s degree in Education through UMO with a focus in curriculum, assessment and instruction.
Sarah was married for 27 years to her husband Barry who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in May of 2002. Barry was one of the first coaches of the newly formed Mt. Blue Tennis team, and their family awards a scholarship each year to a Mt. Blue scholar athlete. Sarah and her family treasure the environment and the outdoors and have spent many happy times together enjoying the mountains, lakes and rivers of this area. She feels that the loss of her husband and the process of healing have helped her tune in more to her students and their individual needs. Sarah considers student mindfulness, creativity, physical fitness and respect for the environment as high priorities.
A student in her classroom was quoted saying, ‘the most important word for me is mindfulness, because it allows us to stop being all hyper, calm down, and get on to learning.” Sarah uses many opportunities to focus on classroom climate. She and her students use “campfires” to circle up and discuss how they are getting along together, to solve a problem or concern within the community, to allow individuals a voice, and for anything else that they may wish to discuss. When not in school, Sarah writes poetry, bikes, skis, and kayaks, along with a number of other outdoor challenges. She brings this passion to her students and the school. Sarah was one of the pioneers of the winter fun days in the district which started in 1995.
Sarah utilizes the outdoor classroom and Nina’s Woods to blend natural world experiences such as nature journaling and observation of nature with district standards. Many standards across the curriculum can be met during these integrated projects, while allowing students to work at their own pace and be in charge of showing what they know. The students happily shared experiences from their “five industries of Maine project” that involved each student producing an illustrated book. One little girl said her toughest challenge was to find accurate information during her research and how to put things into her own words. She confidently said that she realized that things like blogs aren’t always factual but was able to decide the difference and open a new tab on the computer to make sure she was being careful of copyright. In fourth grade! All of the students were very open about what they learned, what challenges they had, and how they had overcome them. Student reflection is a regular part of Mrs. Carlson’s classroom practice.
Sarah has made it possible for many of her students as well as others at Cascade Brook to learn about perseverance. Sarah has been actively involved with Maine Adaptive Sports as a guide for blind and visually impaired alpine skiers. She met Noah Carver, a seventh-grade student of Beals Island who was born blind, when he was in second grade and she was assigned as one of his first guides. She has invited him to CBS on a number of occasions, including a recent visit for a blind guiding demonstration at Titcomb for the school’s Winter Fun Day. Noah has taught that being blind is not really a disability---just a difference. The students have learned how important it is to focus on their strengths not their weaknesses and be more accepting of people with differences.
Additionally, Sarah shares her commitment to children and the school district by serving on the school leadership team and the district Reporting and Grading Committee. All the while, Sarah is most dedicated to each group of 20+ students who have the pleasure of being in her classroom.
Mt. Blue Regional District Vision Statement
Our learning community creates structures that support students’ achievement by: