Last September, the U.S. Department of Education recognized National Blue Ribbon Schools around the country and one of those was Fishers’ very own, Thorpe Creek Elementary School. The National Blue Ribbon recognizes the top schools in the country from performance of staff and students to overall wellbeing and safety at schools. Schools with the Blue Ribbon designation serve as models to other schools. Meet the leader behind this honor at Thorpe Creek, Principal Sara Curran.
Sara has been the principal at Thorpe Creek for 10 years. Her career in education started in 1992 where she taught fourth, fifth and sixth graders at St. Andrew the Apostle School and Immaculate Heart of Mary Schools. Then she taught sixth graders at Maple Ridge Elementary in Pendleton and later kindergarten through 8th grade students at St. Louis de Montfort in Fishers.
She then began her administration coursework and accepted a position with HSE Schools as the District Instructional Technology Integration Specialist. After being in this position for three and a half years, she served as assistant principal at Fall Creek Intermediate School for three years, and then she began her role as Principal at Thorpe Creek.
Sara always knew she wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a child. She was inspired by her father who was a high school teacher, coach, and athletic director. “Outside of my school day and my extracurriculars, I could often be found volunteering at the athletic events at my dad’s school,” Curran said. “I took tickets at the gate, volunteered in the concession stand, handed out programs, cleaned the stands… whatever it took to create a safe and successful event for the students. Being at school was fun! It still is for me.”
Her love of learning and education has continued throughout her life and is evident in her leadership at Thorpe Creek. Sara reflects that serving as a principal has continued her growth and given her new learning opportunities alongside her fellow students and teachers.
Sara recalls the day she found out about receiving the Blue Ribbon honor. Like what many schools have been dealing with lately, they had 11 substitutes and were short-staffed in the cafeteria that day. After checking on her staff and students to make sure they felt supported, she worked on spreading the good news to staff and students’ families so they would be the first to find out. Before the end of the day, they announced it to the students on their end-of-the-day announcements, and everyone congratulated one another. The day ended on a high as they sent the students off with celebratory music, dancing, and elbow bumps.
Sara praises her staff, students, administrators and parents for all their hard work.
“I feel great affirmation of the intentional work we do every day at school,” she said. “I am energized to lead our team toward continuous improvement so that all children experience joyful and rich learning experiences in an identity-safe school.”
Neighborhood: I live on the west side of Fishers.
Favorite Local Restaurant: I am vegan and I love Thai Sushi House in downtown Fishers.
Favorite Way to Spend a Saturday: Saturdays are for running! I start my Saturday with a run (likely on the Nickel Plate Trail). Afterwards my husband Shawn and I enjoy riding our bikes to the Fishers Farmers Market. I dedicate time to reading (ideally outdoors) on Saturdays and walking our dog, Lilly. A nap is always good, too! If I’m lucky I’ll get to see our adult daughter Meghan, perhaps showing her work at an art show in Indy. I like my Saturdays to be slower and gentler, a time to rest and reset, and a day to practice gratitude.
Christina Poetz grew up in Indianapolis but moved to Fishers in 2014 to attend Hamilton Southeastern High School. After she graduated high school in 2018, she interned for the City of Fishers’ Public Relations team. She came back again to intern the next summer and worked as the PR & Marketing Coordinator for the City. When Christina’s not working, she attends IUPUI to pursue her major in Public Relations and minor in Communications. In her free time, she loves to work on her photography skills and attend Pacers games with her friends. Her favorite place to hang out in Fishers is Flat Fork Creek Park because she loves to walk up the big sledding hill and see the amazing view. Follow her on Instagram and follow her photography account.