By Susan Shinn Turner
Students looking for a friendly face at North Rowan High School need look no farther than Sarah Thompson. She’s beginning her third year as student services administrative assistant. Her office is right next to the front office and she works closely with the guidance counselors.
Thompson is in familiar territory. She is a 1991 graduate of North, and her aunt and uncle, Carolyn Baker and the late Walt Baker, both taught there. Carolyn Baker taught health and PE for many years, while Baker was the school’s first basketball coach. The field house is named for Baker, also known as “Mr. North Rowan.”
Thompson served as a long-term substitute teacher at North Rowan Middle School, where she got to know the kids who are now at North High. When another position at Overton Elementary became available, Thompson and her husband Ronnie started discussing their options. They love the beach, and eventually want to retire there. They visit as often as possible. The Overton position didn’t work out, but a part-time job at Isenberg Elementary did. Thompson figured that was a good way to get her foot in the door.
But her first day on the job at Isenberg, Principal Meredith Williams called to offer her the North job.
“I’m a people person,” Thompson says. “I get along with these kids, but I’m gonna be real with them, too. Every day is rewarding. I’ve been with these kids since they were in seventh grade.”
It’s not unusual for them to call her Mom or Mother.
Away from work, Thompson and her husband enjoy going to the beach and to Carolina Panthers games. They met at work and have been married 21 years.
Although they have no children of their own, Thompson says, “I have 550 kids. I do love them. It’s a lot of fun.”