Mrs. Mayes noted, “I am very blessed, honored, and thankful to be recognized as the 2018 Educator of Excellence for Mount Airy City Schools. It is very humbling to be among such an amazing group of educators from across the state who understand and emphasize with my passion to work with EC students. I have a wonderful group of hard-working students who make my job meaningful and make my career of education a powerful platform to help them succeed in the classroom and with everyday life. “
This award is designed to recognize a teacher who has demonstrated excellence in meeting the needs of exceptional children. Her career started in the EC department as a teaching assistant. It is in that role where she discovered a passion for working with students with exceptional needs. In her eight years in education, she has taught middle school science, high school math, and exceptional children. She currently serves as an EC inclusion and resource teacher at Mount Airy High School. In her 4 years as an EC teacher, she has worked tirelessly to meet the needs of her students. She works with other teachers, students, and families to create a detailed plan for each child. Mrs. Mayes goes to great lengths to ensure students are set up for success by hand scheduling each student in her program and working closely with teachers to assist with students’ needs.
Mrs. Mayes works to establish trust and respect of her students by developing meaningful relationships. Over the past few years, she has grown into a leader within her school and district. She has taken a lead role as Accommodations Coordinator which requires her to collaborate with MAHS administration in order to develop elaborate testing plans for statewide assessments and college entrance exams. Mrs. Mayes has also worked with her school’s staff by holding mini professional development sessions designed to increase the understanding of the unique challenges and barriers that her students contend with on a daily basis.
EC Coordinator Scott Dollyhite stated, “Sara has a gift for finding ways to connect with her students and motivate them to be the best that they can be. She genuinely cares for kids and that is evident in the strong relationships that she has developed with them. She has grown exponentially as a professional educator since joining our special education department and I am so proud to call her Mount Airy City Schools' EC Educator of Excellence.”