We were blessed to welcome a new assistant here at Hilltop Children’s House this year: Sara Mathews. Sara has been a friend of ours for a while, and her background in nursing made her a perfect fit to help Noëlle in the Children’s House.
Read more below about Sara and why she’s such a great addition to Hilltop Children’s House!
My name is Sara Mathews. I am a transplant to the area, growing up in upstate New York, not far from Utica. I’ve worked for the past 11 years as a registered nurse, in various areas of nursing, and have grown immensely from the ups and downs of my career.
After getting my fill of the long hours and the long commute while working at a large hospital in Pittsburgh, I switched gears and got a job in a local clinic. The move served me well. I got to know countless members of the local community whom I wouldn’t otherwise have met. One unexpected side-effect has been a growing passion for serving the people of Steubenville.
After giving birth to my husband’s and my second child I found it more difficult to return to the workforce. I wanted to continue helping the people of Steubenville, but I also had a strong desire to stay home with my children. Hilltop Children’s House has made it possible to do both.
Over the last few years, through a friendship with Noëlle and Tom as they’ve been building Hilltop Children’s House, I’ve been learning more about Maria Montessori and her legacy. I’ve found it to be a fantastic method of educating children, and one that I felt I could truly get behind.
After much thought and discussion, I decided to take a step back from full time work as a nurse and offer to be Noëlle’s assistant at HCH….and I’m so glad I did! It’s been such a blessing working with and learning from Noëlle.
Guiding the children as they learn and grow in this prepared environment is stretching me in ways I never thought was possible. Not only is it helping me to better understand the intricacies of how children learn, it’s also helping me to be a better parent. There are so many daily distractions and items to check off to-do lists, that it sometimes can be difficult to slow down and give our undivided attention to our children — to stop and just quietly watch them interact with the world around them, to witness them discover new interests or patiently wait for them to complete a task or master a life skill. What a wonder it is to behold!
I am hopeful and excited for the year ahead with Hilltop Children’s House and look forward to seeing the impact on the local children of the Labelle neighborhood and beyond!