Sara Baffoe

Sara Baffoe (Courtesy photo)

The Telluride Education Association (TEA) is happy to announce that Sara Baffoe has been chosen as the school district’s Employee of the Month for January. Baffoe is the sixth and eighth grade counselor, working with students in a variety of areas as they transition from intermediate to middle and then high school. Baffoe helps students develop executive and interpersonal skills, and works with teachers to create a safe environment so all can learn. Thanks, Sara, for all you do!

Name: Sara Baffoe

Time in town: This is my second year.

Time working for the Telluride School District: This is my second year.

Life before Telluride: Having grown up an Army brat, I learned to embrace challenges, cultivate relationships with new people from different cultures, and seek new and exciting adventures. I have lived in and travelled to many exciting places on personal and business trips, and almost always have my next adventure planned. I got my bachelor’s degree from Hope College, moved to and worked around the Chicagoland area for a while in the private sector first, then education, and happened upon a program at National Louis University, where I could pursue my master’s in counseling, while still working full-time. I am an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and decided to take extra classes to be certified to work in schools as well. I have worked in schools for eight years now in foreign language and tech departments, as a German Club sponsor, and a middle and high school counselor. Two years ago, my husband and I decided to embark on our greatest adventure yet, making a life change to move to Colorado. And we are so happy we did.

Why did you pursue a career in education: My journey pursuing a career in education has been an interesting one. After working in the private sector for a while as a server, law clerk and then in Alumni Travel around the world, I decided to give an education job a try and haven’t turned back. I love being a part of the awesome living and breathing entity that is a public school system, working alongside members of the school staff to help support students and encourage them to develop their passions and foster a love of learning. Helping students discover themselves and develop into global citizens is one of my favorite parts of my job.

What the average citizen/parent needs to know: Telluride is such an amazing community, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of it. My colleagues and students are wonderful, and I am so humbled by this nomination. Public schools are remarkable and we all need to work together to support them. (Puts on School Counselor hat) something that I would encourage my colleagues, students and families is to complete homework/classwork assignments as they are assigned so they do not pile up and add unnecessary stress. Have an open, honest and loving relationship with your children. Listen to your body and your emotions: If you need help, it’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to not be OK. Kindness Matters: Be Kind to yourself and everyone around you. “THINK” before you act or post on social media: Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and/or Kind? Try to get good, solid sleep each night so you can be at your best the next day. When you can’t control what’s happening, control the way you respond to what is happening for that is where your power is. Find joy in little things (and/or big things) each day. Take deep breathes; you’ve got this. If you need a hug and no one is around to give you one, come see me. Also, don’t eat yellow snow, unless it’s delicious, aka intentionally yellow shaved ice.

Best part of Telluride: Telluride is the definition of community. It is a small town with a big heart, and so many amazing resources, wonderful people and exciting happenings!

Best part of being a school counselor: Getting hugs, smiles, high fives, tears, celebrations, devastations, and going through all of life’s emotions, plans and surprises with my students and colleagues.

What colleagues say: “Sara is committed to the healthy whole child development of all our middle school students. She goes above and beyond in her counselor role to build relationships with families whose children need support. She is a team player with her colleagues when it comes to helping support students, middle school in general, and is supportive of our classrooms and programming. Sara is a bright light of positivity on a daily basis despite working with some of the most needy kids who need the most. Yay, Mrs. Baffoe!

What kids say: “She cares and talks to me, but she doesn’t care. You know what I mean! She doesn’t judge me.”

“Ms. Sara is always bringing us notes and looking out for us. I can tell she cares about me and wants me to be happy.”

The Telluride Education Association, the professional association of Telluride’s teaching community, decided to initiate the Employee of the Month program as a way to acknowledge the hard work of all of the dedicated professionals working in the Telluride School District.

The program is open to all employees of the district, regardless of membership in TEA, and is based on anonymous nominations. Representing a majority of the district’s teachers, TEA works closely with school administration to negotiate all teacher contracts, stay current with the ever-changing landscape of educational policy and legislation, and inform and implement school district initiatives.

The association invites community involvement and feedback. If you have any questions about the Employee of the Month program, the Telluride R-1 School District or education in general, contact the TEA executive team at teaexec@telluride.k12.co.us.