By Christine Young Intermountain Catholic
SANDY — Anne Adams, Blessed Sacrament Learning Resource Center math teacher, will retire this year after 28 years.
Adams was raised outside of Buffalo, N.Y., where her mother also taught in a public school. After graduating from college, with teacher positions hard to find in New York, Adams came to Utah and worked at Alta Ski Resort before she was hired at Blessed Sacrament School.
Adams began her career at the school when the third-grade class was added in 1988, two years after the school was opened by Dominican Sisters Barbara Stanek and Sharon Carroll.
Adams taught third grade until 1997, when she went to St. Vincent de Paul School to teach kindergarten.
Two years later she returned to Blessed Sacrament School. Since then she has taught the third and fifth grades, and served as the director of the Learning Resource Center and as vice principal. Since 2012 she has been the middle school math teacher in the Learning Resource Center.
Adams’ first classroom at Blessed Sacrament “had desks and books, and that was it,” she said. “Sr. Barbara said, ‘We thought you would like to design your own program.’ In other words, there wasn’t a lot of money, so I had to be creative.”
Adams’ philosophy is, “‘if I let the students know that they are loved, everything else will fall into place,’” she said. “I learned that from Sr. Sharon, and that became my mantra.”
When Adams first started teaching at the school, the Blessed Sacrament School community “was a close-knit family; everybody participated and helped out the sisters,” she said. “The sisters were wonderful. My kids went to school here and we knew everybody. I watched the school be built over the years.”
The Blessed Sacrament community remains small, Adams said. “We still have small classes, and we love the kids and we care about the kids.”
Throughout the years Adams received accolades from the community, her peers and her students.
In April 1993, Adams was honored as Teacher of the Month by the Sandy Chamber of Commerce.
In 2000, she was nominated a Teacher of the Year by the Diocese of Salt Lake City, and in 2002 she was named in Who’s Who for American Teachers, nominated by Daniel Morrison, a former student who at the time was a college freshman.
“I have worked with some absolutely amazing teachers; the kids go on and do well in high school,” she said.
Adams has been teaching for a long time and runs into students all over the Salt Lake Valley, she said. Her friends say they “can’t go anywhere with me that we don’t run into students of all ages,” she said. “I love it when the students come back and visit me and we catch up.”
But it is time to retire, she said. “The 5:30 mornings have lost their luster, and technology has taken over; things are moving so fast – it’s time to let the younger people step up to the plate.”
When Blessed Sacrament Principal Bryan Penn first began at the school 18 years ago, Adams taught fifth grade across the hall from him.
“I got to know how she worked with the kids, how diligent she was; the kids were always doing their best,” he said. “She is a compassionate teacher who never quite let them get away with anything. She was really good at making sure they did everything they were supposed to, like tucking in their shirts. She has been an asset to our school and the diocese for many years. We won’t be able to replace her; she has certainly made a difference here.”
Adams was honored at an all-school Mass on May 5.