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Extraordinary Educator: Sandy McGoogan

Great communities have great schools. High Point Schools Partnership creates impactful connections between our schools and the wider community to ensure students and their families are supported and can reach their full potential in High Point schools.

Part of High Point Schools Partnerships’ mission is to improve the image of our schools through storytelling. Who better to tell the stories of High Point’s schools than the people experiencing it first-hand? In this series of articles, we will highlight our 2022 High Point Extraordinary Educators as we dive deeper into what keeps them motivated in the face of constant challenges.

2022 Extraordinary Educator: Sandy McGoogan

Sandy McGoogan started her teaching career at Oak Hill Elementary five years ago. The relationships that she has gained and built each year, and the details of her work, make her stay at Oak Hill. 

Sonia Márquez, the principal of Oak Hill Elementary School, describes Mrs. Mcgoogan as “dedicated and consistent” with a “high level of integrity and high standard of excellence”; she “doesn’t accept the status quo”.

According to Márquez, Mrs. Mcgoogan’s “leadership during the pandemic was extraordinary as we moved to 1:1 technology devices. Always thinking about how she could improve the media library program, including increasing book check-out rates, giving free books.”

Mrs. Mcgoogan wants her students to know that “There is so much that I could say about the importance of reading.”  

She goes on to say “I guess if I had one thing to say it would be that reading, and understanding what you’ve read, is crucial to so many life skills.  Please take the time to read to and/or have students read daily, formally, and/or informally.”

Q: What inspired you to become an educator?

A: As a child, when we played school, I was the teacher.  Even during high school, I had the opportunity to act as a teacher for an assignment and was often helping others with schoolwork.  I loved these experiences.  However, teacher pay kept me from entering college as an education major.  The field that I chose was intense, but I was up for the challenge.  I did not shy away from my professor’s office hours, study groups, extra studying, etc.  Although I felt I needed more help, I found myself willing to assist others more than others would assist me.  When I decided to change majors, it was an easy decision.  I enjoyed helping others with grasping whatever concepts I understood and knowing that I could relate to and guide the student that didn’t quite get some things.

Q: What’s your teaching/leadership style?

A: Being visual is one of the prominent ways that I learn, so when I am teaching, I like to offer demonstrations, visuals, and hands-on activities to engage students.  Although I make time for direct instruction, it does not typically dominate a lesson.  In my leadership roles, I like to brainstorm ideas and possibilities.  I also like to hear and consider the thoughts of team members to try and make the best decision that’s going to have the biggest impact on improvement.

Q: Do you have a classroom motto or philosophy you abide by? Why?

A: Not really.  However, it is my goal to work hard at serving the needs of my school in my capacity.

Q: What’s your favorite part about every day?

A: Open circulation is one of the best parts of my day.  During this time, students choose and are allowed to come to the library to return or check out library books.  It’s exciting to see students choose to read.  It also serves as an opportunity for me to think about what I could do differently to reach more students.

Q: What’s your most memorable moment as an educator?

A: So many memories come to mind.  The one that sticks out the most is from early in my career when I learned that, although I may be the only adult in the classroom, I’m never the only teacher.  During an experiment on a field trip, one of the students used their background knowledge to make educated decisions about what her group was doing.  That knowledge came from something that she’d experienced outside of the classroom.  

Mrs. Mcgoogan is our final installment of High Point’s 2022 Extraordinary Educators. Stay involved with High Point Schools Partnership to continue supporting teachers and schools in High Point!

Thank you so much to Sandy McGoogan for your dedication to High Point’s students. Congratulations on being selected as your school’s 2022 Extraordinary Educator!

To find out more about High Point Schools Partnership and our work, please visit our Facebook page and check out our page on Guilford Education Alliance’s website.

Article written by High Point Schools Partnership Staff