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Ms. Hays, The Teacher Who’s Seen It All

Sarah Hays, our biology, and environmental science teacher at John A. Ferguson Senior high school, always makes the class feel more engaging by sharing her personal stories and connecting them with what we are learning. Many feel that she helps make learning more interesting, regardless of the topic. 

Sitting in her class, you quickly catch on to how she never fails to interact and mesmerize her students with all that she shares. Personal touches like this help make students like us excited about learning and help us apply them in our day-to-day lives. Talks about how she has been living and traveling around the world ever since she could walk is exactly what makes her and her class so excited.

Initially born in South Dakota, Hays would constantly be living and exploring the world from a very young age—picking up languages like books alongside her older brother. Living in countries like Italy for about 7 years and living in Japan for a couple of months on 3 separate occasions. After living in France for 10 years, she was greatly impacted and decided to apply for citizenship.

While living in France, from the moment she became an adult, she took up a job as a maid and started cleaning other people’s houses. During this time, she was continually working to climb to the top of her school as a straight-A student. She felt as if her parents made an odd combination with her mother trying to do things as quickly as possible while her father was a perfectionist. She wanted to have her own independence from that. This pushed her to dedicate even more time over the summer to take up classes to graduate early by the age of 17. 

Shortly after she joined the fashion model industry and even had a photo studio in Paris—loving to be surrounded by a youthful environment with a greater free spirit. This quickly became complicated though, with her outgoing nature and dislike for all superficiality, she left the fashion industry altogether to study all around Europe to become a midwife.

Eventually, when she decided to move back here to Florida to reconnect with her family, she quickly realized how different being a midwife here is compared to in Europe. That’s when the idea of becoming a biology teacher came into play and she got the opportunity to start working at a Charter school. 

From traveling and observing other cultures and traditions, she holds a high value for the world around her and wants to share that with others, including her students. However, Hays felt that education in public schools is crucial in the U.S. and should not be overrun by private entities, so the moment she got an offer to work here—she didn’t think twice.

During that time frame, she started her own family and had a daughter named Lola, of whom she is extremely proud of. Constantly sharing with us her achievements like how she’s a journalist now working for the Herald. She always displays this sense of contentment with her students every day as well and wants them to succeed in life.

With every class and lecture, you can pick up on her serious dedication to all things biological, the study of life.

She learned many things growing up, many of which she shares with us—life lessons and personal stories she tells for us to learn something meaningful and applicable in our lives. She always has experiences to share, whether from her days as a model or when she would travel. This shows her hardships but also leaves her students in awe of all she’s encountered.

“Measure twice, cut once,” she says, “think about things a couple of times before making a decision because once it’s decided, you can’t measure again and do it over.”

As a “highly sensitive person”, she often puts herself in other people’s places and is constantly infatuated with deep admiration for all the stories she’s told. As of now, she has a fascination with the first men to land on the moon and how the age of technology and man has slowly advanced over time. Again, this comes back to her love for the world surrounding her. She regularly does her part to inspire our generation to help give back and protect our planet and community for the generations to come.

When Hays isn’t teaching, she’s out there continuing to be her ambitious self. With activities like racing sailboats, wanting to “beat all the guys at least once”, and exercising using the bar method. She tries to do things not everybody else would be willing to do; that says so much about her character. 

One way or another, she always finds a way to express her inner self and creativity in anything she does, in or out of school. She constantly puts hard work and thought into anything she does in life, which is something she prides herself in. Unanimously, to those who know or have her class, we can agree that there’s not a dull moment when in Ms. Hays’ class.

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