Sarah Mohaghan grew up on a 300-acre farm in New York State, the oldest of eight children, and the daughter of a farmer who also served as a lawyer for the indigent. Sarah loved learning, but did not enjoy her long trips to school away from the farm. “After fifth grade I told my parents that I wanted to be home schooled.”
Sarah helped her parents to plan her curriculum. “I wasted little time and consequently could spend the afternoon helping build a new shed for the horses or refinish the carriage buggy. This wasn’t school, but it sure was learning.” She also learned science from another farmer who worked on their land. “He was a natural teacher and scientist, with a keen and observant eye. He had time to make me the most important person at that moment, and to answer my questions.”
Sarah did not plan to go to college and study science, nor did she plan on teaching it. “I thought that good science was not studied or taught, it was experienced and lived.” Going to community college changed her mind. Fascinated by chemistry, and inspired by two professors, she went on to George Fox University in Newberg, Or.
Sarah knew where her future lay the day she watched her father defend a 14 year-old boy accused of stabbing another child. She knew no one had ever made time for him and his questions. “I wanted to teach that boy and other children like him; to give them what I had been given.”