This educator spotlight on Sabine Lamay, a current paraprofessional pursuing her goal of becoming a licensed teacher through our Teacher Pathway program, is featured in “Along the Pathway”, our monthly Teacher Pathway newsletter. Each edition features updates regarding the Teacher Pathway program, participant and community partner spotlights, and programming goals our mentees are working towards that will support them in becoming dynamic educators in local classrooms. To receive the newsletter in your inbox each month, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citizen of the world Sabine Lamay credits her love for reading and the sanctuary libraries provided during her time abroad for developing her passion for education and exploration that she now shares with her students at Grant Sawyer Middle School. “When I was younger, the library was my special sanctuary on the Air Force base. I would check out the max amount of books every time. With my family, all four of my children were reading early on and the library was one of our favorite places to go. I feel that a student’s ability to read directly correlates with their learning and comprehension in every subject as well as life,” says Sabine.
From being stationed at a military base in Italy to spending summers with her maternal family in France, Sabine quickly learned the importance of not only becoming literate in her newly adopted language, but also becoming fluent in the cultural and social norms of where she was. One of Sabine’s earliest friendships while living in Italy was born out of a desire for one of her peers to learn English in exchange for teaching Sabine Italian. Her ability to find common ground with people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences different than her own has become a superpower that she uses on campus andbeyond.
From a young age, Sabine has given back to her community by following her calling to help young people succeed in life. “I have taught children one way or another, as the children’s church director, working at a daycare center, and even as the Education Director at the Boys and Girls Club,” said Sabine. Following the earlier part of her life being spent abroad, she and her family established roots in Las Vegas.
When asked what prompted her to become more involved in the education of local students, Sabine shared “back in 2016, I had chosen to work at a charter school to be with my grandson at school as he had severe ADHD.” While working in real estate, Sabine also became familiar with the needs of our students in southern Nevada through volunteerism she and her mother participated in at Frank Kim Elementary School.
Sabine shared that she had never considered becoming a licensed teacher before she participated in the Teacher Pathway program. “I never took that extra step to get my degree, as I had a family and four children, and with work, I did not have the time,” she said. “I believe helping young people succeed in life is my calling. I have always been a teacher in every part of my life, the classroom is where I should have been all along.”
The Journey Continues
After her time at her grandson’s charter school, Sabine became a Clark County School District employee where she received benefits like medical insurance that were not offered by her previous employer. She was offered a position at Pat Diskin Elementary School as a Self-Contained Aide. “I almost quit the first day, but the principal said I came highly recommended as one of the staff from Frank Kim knew me as a volunteer mom for years,” she shared.
While at Diskin, Sabine became an advocate and champion for her students’ right to access resources and experiences that ultimately allowed them to improve their literacy skills. Her Self-Contained students initially were not interested in reading and were not included in the special programs the library offered, due to their previous behaviors creating the assumption that they would not respect the books or the library itself. Undeterred by this circumstance, Sabine worked with the students’ teachers and school principal to encourage the students to develop a love of learning while increasing their reading levels through AR tests and reading contests. Thanks to her belief in and dedication to her students, they soon were able to visit the library and view their accomplishments displayed on the walls alongside their peers.
Sabine’s commitment to supporting young people as they pursue success extends to each student at Grant Sawyer Middle School, where she takes an active role in supporting their mission to maintain an effective learning environment that promotes lifelong learning by enabling students to value the past, succeed in the present and prepare for the future. “If I see a student looking discouraged, I ask if there’s anything I can do to help I try to encourage them to rest during testing week,” she shared. “When I work in the various classrooms, I continually remind students of the importance of education and how valuable it is.”
She is proud to have a positive impact on her students and shared, “If you were to go back to every job I’ve had where I taught young people, I think the students and parents, as well as staff, would remember me in a positive light. I was taught to go above and beyond. I try and give my best effort in everything I do in life.” When asked what it is that she enjoys the most about being an educator, Sabine shared that it was “seeing a student who was previously struggling succeed and watching the progress of students in their maturity/behavior learning and overall attitude towards life.”
As both a lifelong learner and teacher, Sabine would like to encourage any of her peers who may be considering a career in education to be unafraid to ask questions and seek support from those who are willing to help. “I ask questions constantly to make sure I have a clear understanding. Use all the resources available to you. My school staff has been super helpful from encouragement to helping proofread assignments for me.” She is well on her way to becoming a licensed educator with the support of the Teacher Pathway program, sharing that “the right timing, circumstances, and opportunity have finally come about for me to fulfill my destiny”.
We celebrate Mrs. Sabine Lamay for seizing the opportunity to embark upon a path that will place her where she feels she should have been all along and look forward to witnessing the impact she will continue to make upon the students of Southern Nevada!