Remarkable Women: Music teacher, single mother Sarah Anderson keeps pushing herself to achieve

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LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s the second week of meeting our “Remarkable Women” contest finalists. We are turning the spotlight on teacher Sarah Anderson.

She’s changing the way music is taught at a local elementary school and so much more.

Blending singing with learning to hit the same notes on a xylophone, it’s a lesson in the universal language of music at Eaton Elementary School in Lenoir City, led by beloved teacher Sarah Anderson.

RELATED: Honoring Knoxville’s Remarkable Women for 2020

Eight-year-old student Cameron Morgan says, “she’s nice, she’s funny, she has a great voice, she’s smart and she just makes everybody smile.”

We asked student Lizzy Lobazzo what kind of singer Ms. Anderson is, and she replied, “kind of like an opera singer?”

The out-of-the-ordinary instruments and comprehensive music curriculum are part of Anderson’s idea to make a difference. She made quite an impression on the principal just two short years ago.

“I immediately called our superintendent,” Ashley Baessler says, “and said, ‘I’ve got to hire this girl, she’s going to grow our program,’ because the arts are something you have to have someone very passionate about it, and it has to be more than a job and it’s more than a job for her.”

Sarah Anderson says, “I had been a teacher before, prior to my children, and so it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to come back to the classroom and give children my love for music, because that’s something that has always inspired my life and been a part of my life.”

This devoted single mother of three teenage girls also works at Delta Airlines during the summer, putting in the hours as a gate agent and at the ticket counter, to provide memorable family travels.

“It has enabled us to go literally all over the world, “Anderson says, “so it’s been a wonderful opportunity for me and my daughters.”

Hard work pays off: As a Delta employee, Sarah seized an opportunity to audition for the “Singing Tree” during last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. She was one of only 25 Delta employees chosen out of 86,000 in the workforce.

Somehow, someway, Sarah finds time to work in another job as a real estate agent. Get this, she has also beaten her goal to run a marathon in 50 states — completing 68!

The question we had to ask: What is behind Sarah Anderson’s desire to keep pushing herself to achieve?

“I set a lot of goals in my life, but I’m no different than any other person out there,” she said. “I just want to do the best I can for my daughters and give them the best life and best experiences that I can.”

Anderson also earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Carson-Newman University, but wasn’t able to attend the graduation ceremony because she was working.

She is one of the four women we are featuring each Tuesday on WATE 6 On Your Side News at 5:30 p.m. The local winner will move on to the national level where a “Woman of the Year” will be selected.

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