■ BY SUE ERWIN
South Gulf Cove resident Sarah Moore has been working as a paraprofessional at Island Elementary School since last January.
She met with Angela Colosimo, Director of the After School program, who told her about the position vacancy. “They were looking for someone to work part
time in the after-school program. And then when I came back this year, I was offered a full-time position,” Sarah said.
The Port Charlotte native grew up in Charlotte County and attended Lemon Bay High School in Englewood. She graduated from high school in 2012. Sarah originally met her husband, Randall Moore, 12 years ago while the two were working as volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club on S.R. 776. “I met him through an after-school program that he was volunteering for at the time. He’s four years older than I am, and although we never actually went to school together, we stayed in contact through friends,” Sarah said. The two were married in 2013.
Sarah said that while she was a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club, she became interested in pursuing a career in the education field. She now oversees the after-school program on a daily basis. “There are currently 53 kids who attend the island school, and more than half of them are in the after-school program,” She said. “Some days there are even more, because we get drop-ins, so it can get really hectic.”
Sarah said she tries to maintain a healthy environment at all times, although she admits that it can be a challenge. “We are constantly washing hands. We come in from recess and wash hands. We wash hands again before and after lunch. And we clean the tables after every meal,” she said.
Sarah said she helps out anywhere she is needed at the school. “I’ll go wherever they need me – it doesn’t matter if it’s in the classroom, helping out on field trips or preparing for the after school projects,” she said. She recently took a group of kindergarten kids to the post office as a field trip outing. “They wanted to see how the post office worked, and how long it would take mail to get from here to their house. So we had them create postcards, and they drew pictures on the backs of the cards and mailed them,” she said.
Sarah is planning to go back to school starting in January to pursue a career in elementary education. She will be attending Florida Southwestern University in Punta Gorda. “I took the mandatory Department of Children and Families classes for my position here, so hopefully I can get some credit for that,” she said. Sarah hopes to continue working full time at the island school once her education is completed.
When asked what she enjoys most about her job, Sarah said she loves her kids and her coworkers. “I couldn’t ask to work in a better place. They are just really wonderful people,” she said. “The fact that this is such a small community makes us all very close. The people here are not only generous, but also very kind. And I just love the kids.”
Sarah said that at almost every event the school hosts there is overwhelming support from the community.
Sarah has one sister, Kim Peterson, who lives in Louisiana. “My husband and I just went to visit her in May. We went for our anniversary and surprised my grandma, who lives there. And I think Kim is planning to come down and visit us for Christmas.
“My whole family lives up there besides my parents,” Sarah said.
Sarah and Randall are godparents to their best friend’s son. They have all known each other since middle school. Sarah enjoys living in South Gulf Cove, because it is so peaceful there. Her parents live nearby as well. When she is not working, she enjoys watching football with Randall. “My favorite team is The New Orleans Saints,” she said. “We are huge Saints fans. My best friend is a Detroit Lions fan, and we cannot get together when those two teams play.” Sarah said she and Randall usually host a Super Bowl party for their friends every year.
Sarah also works as a nanny part time, so along with her full-time position at the school, that leaves very little spare time. “I’m always working. I babysit and I also work for a local family out here as a nanny,” she said.
Sarah enjoys reading “The Beautiful Disaster” book series. “It’s a romance series, and the first book is written from the girl’s point of view. The second book is then written from the boy’s perspective. Then there are run-off books that follow,” she said.
Her favorite movie is “Water For Elephants,” and her favorite series on television is “Nashville.”
Randall has served time in the Air Force and now he works at Englewood Water District. “He is trying to go back into the reserves. He was on active duty, but that was very hard on him because we lived overseas (in Italy) when we first got married. After he got out of basic training we got married, and then he went to Italy. Then three months later I moved there.” Sarah had never been to Italy before and was excited, although a little overwhelmed to live there. The couple were there for almost two years, at a base about an hour away from Venice. “It was different – very shocking at first. I couldn’t work on the base, because the Italian economy wouldn’t let us,” she said.
Sarah said she would love to go back to Europe and visit Spain, in particular.
“I would love to go to Barcelona, but right now it all depends on what happens next when Randall goes back into the reserve,ß and whether he will choose to go on active duty again,” Sarah said. “We just have to wait and see what happens.”
Personal file: Sarah Moore
HOMETOWN: Port Charlotte, FL
OCCUPATION: Paraprofessional at The Island School
HOBBIES: Watching football, spending time with family
FAVORITE BOOK: The Beautiful Disaster Series
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Nashville
FAVORITE MOVIE: Water For Elephants
PERSON I ADMIRE THE MOST: My sister, Kim
LIKES: Friendly and compassionate people, contagious laughter, the color blue
DISLIKES: People with bad attitudes