Shearer teacher was destined for profession

Sarah Kash comes from a long line of teachers.

Her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and several aunts were all teachers. And Kash said she was born to be one too.

“I can’t pinpoint a certain time when I realized I wanted to be a teacher,” Kash said.  “When I was younger I would get my mother’s books and teach at home. When she had teachers meetings, I was always in her room pointing to the alphabet and pretending I had my own class. It’s always been there.”

Kash is now in her year as a fourth-grade special education teacher at Shearer Elementary School. She has taught in Clark County for the majority of her 17 years in teaching, but she also spent a few years teaching in Morgan County.

She has taught kindergarten, special education, first grade, fourth grade and fifth grade.

Kash grew up in West Liberty and went to college at Morehead State University. She received two bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and special education. She also earned a master’s in interdisciplinary early childhood education and a Rank I certification in director of special education.

“I had a cousin who was struggling in school,” Kash said. “I remember his mom telling my mom about how he did poorly on a spelling test, and the teacher is just all over him, saying ‘why haven’t you been studying,’ and he said, ‘I did study,’ and she didn’t believe him.

“She even called my aunt and said ‘he’s got a bad grade, he needs to study.’ They had been studying and just how that made him feel, and he ended up having a learning disability. That got my interest piqued about special education and being the teacher that helps those struggling students and to give them the support that they need.”

Kash wound up in Winchester after initially looking for a job in Lexington. She started working at the former Providence Elementary School in 2003.

Kash said she one of her favorite subjects to teach is reading.

“I think it is because reading is such a joy of mine and bringing that to a student and making them be able to go and grab a book they want to read,” she said. “I love reading, and I try to instill that in the kids because it’s so important. It can take them anywhere.”

However, teaching isn’t without its challenges. Kash said there are more limitations on teachers today than in the past as well as changing family dynamics that have affected students.

Despite the challenges, Kash said students continuously remind her about the joys of teaching such as seeing the “light bulb” click when students understand a new concept.

Some days are particularly meaningful.

“I got (a card) from a student that I had for two years that has faced great obstacles in her life,” Kash said. “There’s a special place in my heart for her, and she wrote me one and put it in my box, and it said, ‘You’re the best teacher, and I love you so much.’

“…It makes it all worth it.”

Kash said she had learned so much over the years especially learning from her peers, her students and coworkers. 

“I think where I’ve been in so many different grades and so many different positions I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work,” she said. “I try to refine my teaching every year and learn every year.”

Each year, the way the classroom runs changes, too. Kash said there had been a bigger push to integrate technology into the classroom.

Kash said she tries to run a student-led classroom, a place where her students take ownership and responsibility of their studies.

Kash said she wouldn’t be who she was today had it not been for her career as a teacher.

“It’s probably shaped me into a little bit more caring and compassionate person and probably given me a lot of patience,” she said.

Kash said she hopes to teach her students to believe in themselves.

“To always do (their) best, because they are better than they know,” she said. “They can do more than they think they can.”

A person’s heart has to be in it if someone is considering a career in teaching, Kash said.

“There’s still a lot of wonderful things about teaching,” she said. “It is still one, if not the most satisfying and fulfilling jobs there is.”

Outside of teaching, Kash is an avid skier, reader, traveler, mom to a daughter and twin boys and wife. She said she spends her spare time with her family and has enjoyed her trips to Europe, Costa Rica, South Carolina and on Disney cruises.

And after 17 years, Kash said is undoubtedly proud to be a teacher, and plans to teach in Clark County the best she can.

“I’m a teacher,” she said.”I would say that is something to be proud of.”