Samantha Sadd

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One man “drove so far, from God knows where, just to tell me how she turned his life around… And he kept saying, ‘She got me to ski.'”

 

Samantha Sadd taught generations of children “about the city and beyond” with field trips, subway rides, and salad-making lessons. She led the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center, which several of my students frequent.

Sadd was not the surname she was born with; she declined to offer explanations for the change. My students came up with their own theories, including this one, which I think is pretty good: “Maybe she wanted to take in all the sadness and give out happiness.”

They also came up with their own allegorical surnames, including this one, which I think is unimprovable: Nate Reflex.

Ms. Sadd’s Boston Globe obituary describes a remarkable and admirable woman, the sort for whom the designation “pillar of the community” is exactly suitable. This teacher also likes her obituary because it demonstrates why background knowledge is essential to reading comprehension. For example, a 6th grader might understand each of the following words, yet risk alarmed confusion: “[S]he was a whiz at handicapping racehorses,” her sister said.

 

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