Sara McGowan, Treasurer & Fundraising Chair
My name is Sara McGowan. My passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to the betterment of students’ lives and their development as a young adult is what I hope people know about me. With 18 years of teaching experience, all but one in special education, this was the area of education I never thought I would be in. I was never going to work in special ed. Who does that?
Years later, I’ve tried to be a champion for Transition. I’ve spent the past 10+ years working as a Transition Coordinator in Churchill Co. helping students navigate the crucial phase of their educational journey that bridges the gap between school and the real world. This role turned into a passion or maybe an obsession. Ensuring students acquired the life skills necessary to become productive and independent members of society is incredibly rewarding.
Leadership, advocacy and collaboration with other coordinators around the state has been a tremendous part of who I am as a teacher and what I’ve done. No one teaches in a vacuum. We have each other to learn from and steal from. I’ve had great help along the way from way too many people to name. Thank you all. Many of these people I’ve met and worked with as the chair of the Rural Transition Coordinators of Nevada, where we advocate tirelessly for the rights and needs of students with exceptional needs in rural areas. The group has brought about positive change and greater opportunities for students across the state.
My impact goes beyond my own community. I have led six self-studies in my district which included other districts and outside agencies as partners. These incredibly useful self studies, organized by the Transition Coalition, a national organization dedicated to enhancing transition outcomes for students with disabilities has improved compliance and the services students get at our high school. I’m very proud the national organization asked me to collaborate on future projects, solidifying me as a partner for change on a broader scale.
Lastly and probably the thing I’m most proud of, the student-led micro-enterprises run out of our high school. I have established five student-run micro-enterprises. These enterprises not only provide valuable vocational training but also empower students to build self-confidence and independence, which are skills that will help them stay gainfully employed. Seeing the pride these students have when they are employed in our community is all the reward I need.