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Music and art are being infused with new energy and ideas at the Mount Ayr Elementary School this year thanks to two new teachers.
The Mount Ayr Record-News team reached out to get to know them, and welcome them to the community.
Sabrina Fox is leading K-6th vocal music this year. Fox has been teaching since she graduated from Simpson College in 2016, although she took a two-year break during the pandemic. Prior to coming to Mt Ayr, she served as a 5-12 band director split between Melcher-Dallas and Twin Cedars school districts.
“I really love how much everyone cares for each other here,” Fox says, “Staff and students are always friendly, and even though I may say ‘Oh, no thank you please,’ a dozen times a day, it just feels warm and bubbly to get to interact with our students.”
Fox shared “I love the passion and delight that students have when they figure something out, or get to try something new.”
She sees students for 30 minutes at a time, so she likes to break up the time and best as possible with a variety of singing, movement, playing instruments, and learning rhythms.
“I like being able to share some of my favorite pieces of music when we our Musical Freeze game; I get to challenge students to interpreting music within their movement, such as moving like gently falling raindrops,” shared Fox.
Although she hasn’t explored much of Mount Ayr yet, Fox says “the ladies in the library are just some of the sweetest people.”
She likes taking in the sights on the square, the Mexican restaurant, and looks forward to visit The Mill and the book store. She spends her free time in the company of her ESA cat Jiji.
Fox also likes to play logic based games such as nonogram and color nonogram, logic puzzles, and sudoku.
“I’ve been working on my Spanish through Duolingo,
states Fox, “Otherwise, I enjoy playing low-stakes video games, reading or listening to audiobooks, or painting.”
Fox shared “I also LARP, that is Live-Action Role Play, as a vampire once a month through the Modern Enigma Society. It more like Sitting or Standing Role Play at the moment, but we still get to dress up and be a different person for a few hours.”
She also enjoys other table-top role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Shadowrun.
Miss Emily Thomas also joined the Mount Ayr Elementary School this year, as the K-6 Art and STEAM teacher.
Thomas says, “what excites me the most about the Mount Ayr School District and community is how supportive everyone is!”
She grew up in Indianola, Iowa and graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in K-12 Art Education in December of 2022.
After graduating, she took a temporary teaching job at Northeast Nodaway School District in Ravenwood, Missouri, teaching 7-12th grade Business and Computers for a semester. She student taught at the school prior to being hired there.
“There are so many things that I enjoy about teaching,” says Thomas,
“but my favorite is seeing those light bulb moments that students have and seeing their imaginations make their appearance in their artwork!”
Outside of school, Thomas enjoys staying busy. Besides her personal interest in creating art, she loves to spend time with her friends and family at home.
“I enjoy going on vacation and exploring, states Thomas, “ I am also a big sports fan, as I love the Iowa Hawkeyes, Kansas City Chiefs, and Chicago Cubs.”
She makes a point to spend at least one beautiful fall day at Kinnick Stadium every year with her dad (Go Hawks!).