The Principal Series featuring Sarah Simpson of North Saginaw Charter Academy
When asked to recall a favorite childhood memory, Sarah Simpson, principal of North Saginaw Charter Academy (NSCA), remembers a time when her father gave her a chalkboard. It was exactly what she needed for her one-room schoolhouse filled with stuffed animals. The teacher in Simpson had emerged at an early age and she fully embraced it.
“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” she explained. “In high school I signed up to be a teaching assistant, a tutor, and a camp counselor. I just loved working with children.”
Simpson followed her passion by studying elementary education at Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Mich. Over the years she has taught in school districts in three different states which provided a variety of growth opportunities.
“Learning a new state’s educational requirements can be challenging, but I believe it is important to continue to challenge yourself to grow as a person. I’m always telling my students, ‘don’t avoid a challenge because you think it is too hard, work to figure out a way to make it happen,’” Simpson said.
While teaching at a school in Holland, Mich., Simpson signed up to lead the school’s competitive cheerleading team. In high school, she had cheered on a competitive team that won a state championship. Her coaching style was successful and within two years her team made it to the state finals. She later became a Michigan High School Athletic Association registered competitive cheer official.
Her strong coaching skills have been a great asset as the principal of North Saginaw Charter Academy where she leads a dedicated team of teachers working to provide educational excellence in the classroom.
“Encouragement is key in coaching whether it is on a cheer mat or in a classroom,” Simpson said. “One of my coaching strategies is to spend a lot of time analyzing. I like to look at a problem closely, think of ways to make it better, and then roll out the change needed in a very positive way so it can be absorbed instead of rejected.”
She credits her parents with establishing a strong foundation at home filled with support and encouragement, and for teaching her to value the importance of continuing her education.
“My mom was my high school cheer coach so I was able to see great leadership skills not only at home, but also at school. Both of my parents were always encouraging me and my three sisters to follow our dreams and made sure we understood that college was the key to turning our dreams into a reality.”
Simpson is now living her dream as the principal of a K-8 school dedicated to preparing children for success in high school and college. She plans to draw on her coaching skills, teaching experience, and encouraging nature to ensure all of her students are creating their own dreams and carving the path to make them come true.
“I believe that every day counts and together the NSCA team can positively impact the lives of our scholars.”