Honored: Sarah Wicker
Sarah Wicker took a winding path to her job as a math and religion teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. She taught for a year in her home state of Minnesota before learning about the job while at a conference in Maine.
“God has a sense of humor,” she said.
But no matter how she ended up here, St. Joseph’s is a great fit for Wicker. She is fully committed to her students and teaching them about life and the joy of learning.
“I absolutely love mathematics and I love the moment a student recognizes something — that light bulb moment,” she said. “It’s the best part of teaching.”
Wicker said a joke by one of her high school teachers missed the mark – but it made an impact.
“I always enjoyed explaining things to people,” she said. “One of my freshman teachers told I should be a math teacher. I think he was trying to get me to be quiet. He said, ‘Would you like to teach the class?’ And so I did.”
Now, Wicker works on building relationships with her students.
“I go to everything from swim meets to tennis matches — I go to everything,” she said. “It means a lot to me to be able to support them. So much of education is really about that relationship. They know that I care and that I’m supportive.”
Wicker finds camaraderie at St. Joseph’s.
“It’s very clear that the teachers here all care about the students,” she said. “I can go to my colleagues and ask questions and it won’t turn into a complaining session. That has been a really wonderful experience for me.”
It also helps Wicker create a safe and welcoming environment for her students. She said her students always find a little something extra in her room, such as candy or bagels, to lets them know she cares.
“If I can create an environment where they are happy to be in my room, even if they don’t like math, that is huge for me,” she said.
Teaching math and religion is Wicker’s job, but her vocation is much more.
“It’s how God wants me to serve him,” Wicker said. “The opportunity to be in relationships with students and support them is a huge thing.”