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photo by Anya Sachdev

Sarah Ayad is a second-year math teacher at PHS. Growing up in South Brunswick, Ayad became interested in teaching at a young age. After graduating from South Brunswick High School, she attended The College of New Jersey and graduated with a degree in Secondary Education.

Ayad has taught Algebra II, Algebra II Elements, and Algebra II Plus. She values the opportunity to work with various Algebra II students, and likes helping them understand the material.

“When I started to do my student teaching, I realized that I was made to be a high school teacher and that I really enjoyed the higher level. I like the challenge of high school, as it has a lot of personality,” Ayad said.

Ayad’s father, also a math teacher, inspired her to go into the field of mathematics. Ayad was impressed by the way her father was able to forge meaningful connections with his students.

“When I observed my father teaching, you could really just see the relationships … seeing him work with the students, how he made a safe environment, how students felt comfortable asking him questions and were able to relate to him,” Ayad said.

According to Ayad, the environment of trust and support in the math department has allowed her to adjust easily to her new surroundings. For example, one change she had to make was getting used to the shorter periods at PHS, as her previous jobs at South Brunswick High School and Monroe High School used block scheduling.

Ayad feels high school students can relate to her more easily as she has completed high school and college more recently.

Similarly, Ayad is content with the fact that she can connect to current and former students. Students often come back to ask for extra help, to discuss how they’ve applied what they learned in class, and tell her that they’ve been accepted to college.

“Seeing my juniors who I had last year that are now getting accepted to colleges … it just makes you feel like you’re making an impact.”

Outside of the classroom, Ayad became the Chess Club advisor this school year. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and ziplining. Though she never played sports in high school, she watches basketball and is a fan of the Golden State Warriors. She also teaches Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes at her church, which allows her to work with younger children, offering a different experience from teaching only high school courses.

Ayad is appreciative of the opportunity to teach at PHS due to the strong support, sense of unity, and fellowship among her students and co-workers.

“[PHS] is such a diverse school. You have a real sense of community here, just how everybody accepts one another,” said Ayad. “It’s a really close-knit community, and I like that.”

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