In this month’s Alumni Spotlight, we are recognizing Sarah (Whitaker) Siems. Sarah, a native to Concord Township, came to Hershey Montessori School when she was just eighteen months old in our Parent-Infant class. Her dad was the first dad to be in the Parent-Infant class. She remained at Hershey’s Concord campus through 6th grade and then attended the Huntsburg campus through eighth grade.
Sarah now lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Philip, their two sons, Henry (4) and William (2), and their “very fluffy cat” named Roly Poly. Sarah is a nationally certified personal trainer and trains her clients via her website and app, train.fitstyled.com. She is also the author of the cookbook Cooking without a Kitchen, as well as Fit in 20 Minutes, the only pre-made, yet customizable workout plan. She most recently released her new children’s book Hippos Go to Hawaii, coauthored with her husband. All her books are available on Amazon.com.
Enjoy our interview with Sarah, below.
Hi Sarah, you’ve been busy! Tell us where you landed after high school. Did you go to college, and if so, where did you attend?
Yes, I went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
What degree(s) or training did your pursue?
I have a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physiology & Enterprise from SMU and am a nationally certified personal trainer through American College of Sports Medicine. I also have certifications in yoga, lifestyle and behavior management, and sports nutrition.
That is impressive! Is there something about your Montessori education that stands out to you? What in particular did you like most about it?
Primarily, I liked the close-knit community. Additionally, I also felt that we were able to foster more creativity by growing up in a Montessori environment. The way everything was structured made me feel that it was okay, and encouraged, to think outside the box, which I believe has had a tremendously positive impact on my life and in the way I raise my own children.
That is truly wonderful to hear. Can you tell us what your heart’s passion is?
My children. Beyond that, making people happy and finding fun and creative ways to show love for them.
Do you have any hobbies or specific interests?
I love genealogy and organization. The latter is due to having lived in a dorm!
Speaking of dorms, and Hershey having a boarding community, what is your favorite Hershey memory?
I loved the Thanksgiving feast in the gym. It was so fun to get paired with a younger student and I specifically remember how the corn bake and cranberries tasted.
What has been your happiest moment to date?
Finding out I was pregnant!
What is a little-known fact that others wouldn’t know about you?
I was in the Justin Bieber movie at a time when I didn’t really know much about him. 🙂
Tell us where your favorite place to go is.
Hawaii! This is partly why Hawaii is the first location for our book series.
And, what is your favorite thing to do?
I love taking walks with my family.
This may be obvious, but what is your favorite book?
Can you give us one of your favorite quotes?
“If you don’t ask, the answer is already ’no.’”
Do you have a favorite movie?
Legally Blonde. I know every word. I think Elle Woods is smart, driven, and kind, all while fashionable.
Love it! So, how do you think your friends and family would describe you?
I just asked, and they said “loving, kind, creative, and funny yet professional.”
And what do you think? How would you describe yourself?
Well, the things they said were nice, so I think I like that list!
Absolutely! As we wrap up with the last few questions, is there one thing about Hershey you would like others to know?
I would like them to know that it really is like a family.
This is more of a personal question. Who has made the biggest impact in your life and what does that impact look like?
My mom. She’s a hard worker, smart, and fun. She also prioritized big family trips with extended family and we love to do the same.
Last question. Do you have a life lesson you would like to share with others?
Life is short. Tell people you love them every chance you get!
That is great advice, Sarah. It’s been a pleasure to catch up with you and to see all that you have done. Where you have taken your life thus far is an inspiration to us all. We look forward to continuing to watch you flourish!