Teacher Feature: The Sappington Family

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Mr. And Mrs. Sappington share a strong commitment to Casady, and truly enjoy working with each other in the Middle Division. Mrs. Sappington teaches sixth grade English and a computer class, while Mr. Sappington also teaches a MD computer class and is the Makerspace director. He has also been a Science Olympiad coach for eight years, and loves to see students have fun while working on science based problems or building events together. 

Their daughter, Clair, is a sixth grader and their son, Connor, is in pre-k. Mrs. Sappington said having Clair in her class is a blast and she loves to see Clair throughout the day with her friends. Mr. Sappington loves when Connor comes over from the primary after school and makes wooly mammoths out of Legos from the robotics class, and seeing his wife and daughter in the Middle Division because it always makes him smile. 

The Sappingtons agree that Casady is a great place to work, and they enjoy the quality time connecting with their students outside the classroom. Mrs. Sappington enjoys the Middle Division because the “students and teachers are fun, zany, and willing to try new things. We love learning and are not as stressed and worried about grades and college as teachers and students in the Upper Division. Also, unlike elementary students, Middle Division students are old enough to engage in meaningful conversations, and they have a more developed sense of humor. In other words, middle schoolers are awesome!” Mr. Sappington added that he enjoys the middle school students’ energy and the faculty he works with. 

Mrs. Sappington was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and grew up in Madill, Tishomingo, and Oklahoma City. While she was a quiet and reserved child, she was also active and competitive, spending her childhood outdoors climbing trees and playing football with boys. In third grade, Mrs. Sappington began playing soccer and that became a huge part of her life. As a student, she enjoyed math, English, and P.E. Mrs. Sappington attended Mercer University in Georgia and majored in special education with an emphasis on reading and writing instruction. Mrs. Sappington considered journalism, veterinary medicine, and even dreamed of being an ESPN sportscaster. During college, she volunteered as a tutor and mentor at Special Care, and this experience influenced her desire to positively impact each and every one of her students. Prior to joining Casady this school year, Mrs. Sappington taught at Bethany High School and Middle School for ten years. Her favorite teaching moments are when her students are actively engaged in discussion, collaboration, and problem-solving.  Mrs. Sappington wants her students “to be inspired, not limited, by innovation, history, literature, humanity, government, circumstance, and one another. Also, to ‘feel’ the comma instead of fearing it!” She hopes to be remembered as a teacher who made learning fun, as a mom who laughed and loved passionately, and as a good person.

Mr. Sappington grew up in Oklahoma City. He was a student who enjoyed both sports and creating inventions. Even as a child, his favorite subject was science. Mr. Sappington worked various jobs throughout high school, including driving new Corvettes around Edmond. He attended Westminster College where he majored in biology. Mr. Sappington enjoys how science tries to make sense of the world. He worked as a chemist and found it to be incredibly boring. His mom was a teacher, and she inspired him to follow in the family’s footsteps. He loves how teaching is different every day. Prior to Mr. Sappington’s seventeen years at Casady, he taught three years at Putnam City and three years in Fairfax County, Virginia. He believes the most important lesson he teaches his students is how to solve problems through research, experience, and grit. 

The Sappington family enjoys spending weekends relaxing and playing in their front yard, riding bikes to their neighborhood park, and enjoying walking trails. Both Mr. And Mrs. Sappington chose Where the Red Fern Grows as their favorite childhood book, so it is not surprising to learn that they have two dogs: Oreo and Dawkins. During the summer, they like to hike, camp, and swim. While Mrs. Sappington loves sports, she admits she is terrible on wheels–whether it’s roller skates, a bike, or a skateboard, she said it usually ends in disaster. Once, she was riding a fancy road bike to Lake Hefner and was unable to click out of her pedals at a stoplight, and ever so slowly, she tipped over in the middle of the street with traffic all around her.

When I asked the Sappingtons to share something about their spouse that would surprise their students, Mr. Sappington revealed that they did a mini triathlon together and she would have beat him but she got lost on the course. Mrs. Sappington shared that when her husband taught science near Washington D.C., his flies for a research study escaped, infested every room of the school, and no one ever knew that he was the culprit. The Sappington family loves to learn and to laugh, and their appreciation and support of each other and their Casady students is evident.