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Special School District of St. Louis County
 
Q&A with Alumna Sarah Geer, 10 Years After Graduation
Sarah Geer has worked in SSD’s Parent Education and Diversity Awareness Department for the past five years, but her history with the district goes back much farther than that.

Sarah, who has Down syndrome, is a 2001 graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School and an alumna of SSD’s Career Training and SWEP programs. She said the programs gave her valuable experience to prepare her for her current role as an SSD staff member.

"It was fun. I worked with job coaches, and then I went job hunting, job searching," she said. "It helped me a lot."

Her previous work experience includes the St. Louis Zoo, St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, Missouri Baptist College, Laclede Groves Manor and Barnes & Noble. Sarah also is proud of her accomplishments as a Special Olympian. She has earned gold medals in bowling, and often competes with her best friend Emily Noll, daughter of fellow staff member Joann Noll.

"I’ve known Emily since I was 18 months old," she said. "And now I’m 29. That’s a long time. We always have fun together."

In her current role with SSD’s Parent Education and Diversity Awareness Department, Sarah handles a variety of clerical duties including labeling, mailing, shredding and filing. She also enjoys spending time speaking at area schools to help raise awareness of people with disabilities.

"It’s for disability awareness," she said. "I talk to students about Down syndrome and my life. I let them know who I am and things I like."

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love all the work that I’m doing. I feel like I’m helping. I absolutely love it, and I’m staying at this job.

How would your friends describe you?

Fun. Nice. Outgoing. Friendly. Not shy. Definitely not that.

What’s your favorite book?
I don’t know. I like to read. I really like to read when I go to book club. Book club is through the St. Louis ARC. We just finished the book ‘Beezus and Ramona.’ Then we went to see the movie, too. I liked it.

What was your favorite subject in school?
Music, because I love to sing. My mom always sings, too. I’m a first soprano. My mom’s an alto. My mom sings in the Ladue Chapel Choir. In high school in choir we would do solos, and I did some of them. I really like music. My favorite singer is Hannah Montana.

What are your hobbies?
League bowling. It is through St. Louis ARC also. My average scores are in the 80s and 90s. I usually break 100. I bowl every Saturday morning. I like to play the Wii, too. I just got ‘Wheel of Fortune’ for the Wii for Christmas. I like the Wii bowling, too. But you know what I’m really good at is the Wii boxing. I get lots of knockouts.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon?
I spend it with Emily. We spend the nights at each other’s houses. We watch movies. We play games and listen to CDs.

If you could have a special luncheon and invite anyone (past or present), which five people would you want to sit at your table?
Emily and Joann, Judy Presberg and her daughter Liz, and my mom.

When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
A singer; and I am. I wanted to be a pop singer. A Hannah Montana-type singer.

What is one of your earliest memories?
I used to dress up as my father. His name was Jim. I would wear his good pants and his good jacket and his tie. I would wear his suit and everyone at school would call me Mr. Geer.

What is the first concert you attended/album you purchased?
The Jonas Brothers. It was awesome.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
I like lots of ice cream. I like Reese’s peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate and strawberry cheesecake. I also get Concretes from Ted Drewe’s. There’s also Stone Cold Creamery where you can put candy in your ice cream. I like that, too.

If money and time were no object and you could take an entire year to do whatever you want, what would you do?
I would go to L.A. and meet Hannah Montana. Just for vacation. I would spend the whole year there if I could.

What advice do you have for children today?
Stay out of trouble. Please graduate. Get a good education, so you can actually graduate and be successful.
Sarah Geer
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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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