Sarah McBride is a second-grade STEAM teacher at Bay Meadows Elementary School. During her 16-year career, she has been on several leadership committees, including the team that helped launch Bay Meadows’ STEAM Career Academy magnet program. She also plans and presents professional development, serves as team leader, is a member of SAC, and is co-chair for the 21st Century Learners Club — a STEAM club for kindergarten through second-grade students. Joann Dorries, principal at the school, said McBride has a significant impact in her classroom, with her team and across the school.
What brought you to your school?
I was lucky enough to be hired at Bay Meadows right after I graduated from the University of Florida. I grew up in Southwest Orlando, so I really wanted to teach at a school in the area.
What do you love most about your school?
Our school feels like a big family, and I have been able to build so many special relationships over the years. We also became a STEAM magnet school a few years ago, and that has brought lots of new and exciting opportunities for me as a teacher.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding parts of my job are connecting with my students, igniting their love of learning and highlighting their individual strengths. Every year, I get to form a new little class family, and that bond is very unique and special. I also love the creative outlet that teaching provides.
Who influences you?
My mom is the most empathetic, thoughtful and generous person. I have always aspired to be like her in all aspects of my life — but especially now that I’m a mom.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my husband and 5-year-old son, trying new restaurants, and reading.
What would you be if you weren’t in this profession?
I’ve always enjoyed creative writing and would love to write a children’s book one day with my husband as the illustrator.
Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?
My second-grade teacher, Ms. MacNeil, is the reason I became a second-grade teacher! She went above and beyond to make each of us feel special, and she planned the most creative and hands-on learning experiences. I still remember many of the activities we did and actually do some of them with my own second-grade classes each year.
What is your favorite children’s book and why?
My students laugh at me because I frequently say that a book is my “favorite,” but “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” stands out, because I love the theme of believing in yourself no matter what anyone else thinks of you.
What was your go-to lunch and favorite snack as an elementary student?
I was a pretty picky eater, so I ate a lot of boring, plain turkey and cheese subs.
If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?
I am a big “Hamilton” fan, so I would love to have dinner with Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is such a genius, and I bet he has lots of interesting stories about the inspirations for all his masterpieces.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would want to be able to teleport so I could quickly travel without the hassle of driving or flying.
If you could only listen to three bands or artists, who would they be and why?
All-American Rejects and Something Corporate for nostalgia reasons, and Taylor Swift because her songs are so fun to sing along to.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Picking out the perfect Halloween costume, visiting the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating are some of my favorite memories from childhood, and it is even more magical doing those traditions with my son.
Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?
My best friend in high school was named Brooke. We went to the University of Florida together and both became teachers. She teaches kindergarten here in Orlando, and now we get to have playdates with our kids.
What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?
I did dance for several years, played the piano and flute, and was on a jump rope team in middle school.