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  • Writer's pictureSarah Poff

MO-TELL Member of the Month: Sarah Poff

Sarah Poff is an award-winning educator who, over the course of the past forty-plus years, has worked with 25 principals and taught over 10,000 students, ages two to 102, through her signature mixture of history, storytelling, art, culture, costumes, music, and dance.

She has taught in public and private schools, in museums, in historical houses, in preschools, in public libraries, in basements, in dance studios, in parks, in churches, in hospitals, on kitchen tables, and even during a funeral!

Hobbies: historical researching, painting folk art, genealogy and going on adventures with

her granddaughters.

Family: She is married to Alec Poff, her husband of 44 years. She has two adult children, John Poff and Mary Ellen Lohmann. Plus, two icings on the cake of life, otherwise know as grandchildren. Their names are Annaleigh and Lydia.

Sarah has a passion to keep history alive and believes this is the best way for her to do it. She has researched one of her Revolutionaryancestors. His name is Henry Haynes. When telling historical stories, she often brings her wooden Henry Haynes with her. She tells the audience that Henry is watching her and reminding her of the mportance of telling historical stories.

Sarah used to stand at the knees of Grandmother Effie Thompson and listen to Grandmother’s fascinating stories about our ancestors. She wanted to be like her grandmother and carry our stories to the next generations. She was an elementary art teacher for many years and storytelling worked very nicely in her classroom. She found that it helped gain and keep the attention of her students. They never knew when the next story would pop up.

Sarah thought it would be good to learn from other storytellers that have been telling longer than she had and knew more about Storytelling than she did.

Sarah has traveled all over the state of Missouri telling historical stories at museums, libraries, schools, Daughters of the American Revolution Chapters, Sons of the American Revolution Chapters, Children of the American Revolution Societies, churches, YMCAs, Colonial Dames and other organizations. She has even told a few in Texas and Kansas.

Sarah says her Grandmother Effie Thompson who told family stories to her during childhood. Joyce Slater who helped her fine tune her storytelling and a lady who called herself Mother Nature.

She loves telling folks that she is nearly famous and then explaining why she feels that way!! You should see the looks they give her with that statement! Sarah’s favorite song is “What a Friend I have in Jesus.”

Her favorite lavation was a genealogy trip to Louisville, MS. Sarah and her daughter stood with toothbrushes in hand and a bottle of bleach in tow in the middle of a graveyard on a hot Mississippi sunny day in August. They were just out to do their duty! Their Civil War ancestors tombstones needed cleaning and they were there to make it happen. What a great moment that was, after the tombstones were cleaned enough to read their ancestor’s name. The names were fully visual and ready to stand up to coming years of theweather. Sarah says it was a thrill that hot sultry summer to walk where five generations of her family had walked, to research ancestors and find documents with their names on them in the local count house. Sarah’s grandmother Effie had grown up there and now her daughter and she stood under the very trees that her grandmother had played under as little girl. Sarah said her heart was filled to the brim that vacation week.

Sarah Tucker Poff M. Ed.


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