Meet Sarah Pinkus – Faces of Downers Grove Township

When you first step into her classroom, you just know that her students are going to have great time learning. Sarah Pinkus is a seventeen-year veteran at O’Neill Middle School and as a science teacher; it isn’t difficult to imagine after talking with her, that her genuineness and enthusiasm for the students is inspirational.

After graduating from Downers Grove South High School, Sarah received her education degree from the University of Illinois with an emphasis in science, social studies, language arts and reading. Sarah expressed how fortunate she felt when the principal hired her because he was the gym teacher there when she herself was a student at O’Neill. After her first few years of shaping young minds, Sarah felt a strong urge to go back to school that led her to receiving a Master’s in School Counseling. That restlessness continued and a few years later she once again returned to the classroom and a Masters in School Technology was conferred upon this ambitious teacher. What is so amazing about this drive is that she enthusiastically combines all of that knowledge to teach the “whole student”; knowing full well that this stage of life has a unique set of challenges. She knows it isn’t just about the curriculum.

You can feel the care and energy that she has when she talks about what she finds so rewarding about being a teacher:   “Instilling in the kids, the ability to problem solve and see their confidence grow is important. Whether it’s science investigation or social situations, I love helping them learn how to navigate life.” There is no doubt that her students receive the very best of their teacher every day they are in the classroom.

When not spending time at O’Neill Middle School, Sarah loves spending time with her husband, two young daughters and their dog, Charley. Whether she’s cooking or gardening, she just loves spending time outside. Living in Chicago also affords her and her family the opportunity to enjoy the many wonderful activities and the beautiful lakefront.

I asked Sarah to share the best piece of advice that she has ever received: “When I first started teaching, I sometimes felt like a failure. A teacher gave me a picture with a saying: Believe & Succeed – Courage does not always roar, sometimes it is the quiet voice, at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.””   This is something that she keeps in her classroom as a reminder that there is always tomorrow.

Sarah, Downers Grove Township and the O’Neill Middle School community are so fortunate to have your heart and passion for others. It is an honor to serve with you.

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