Not initially sure what sort of career she wanted, Sandra Holbrook Childs was ultimately driven to pursue home economics out of a love of the field that was inspired by her grandmother teaching her how to sew. First earning a Bachelor of Arts in vocational home economics from Georgia College & State University, she then joined the University of Georgia, where she obtained a Master of Arts in home economics in 1975 and a Master of Arts in teaching children with developmental disabilities in 1987. Attributing much of her success to her parents, James C. Holbrook and Edna Holbrook, who encouraged and supported her throughout her education, Ms. Childs finds no greater joy than watching children learn, something that kept her motivated to teach and support her students throughout her 30-year career in education.
Spending 10 years a teaching elementary school, Ms. Childs also dedicated 10 years to teaching both middle and high school, notably teaching every grade, kindergarten through 12th, with the exception of first grade. A naturally nurturing person, she found particular satisfaction in working with disabled students and helping them to excel, especially as so many students with disabilities get discouraged and neglected. Learning to cultivate her skills as a “fixer” was something that she credits as allowing her to flourish as a professional, as well as the recognition that you are always responsible for your own actions and the importance of acknowledging that. Following her years as a teacher, Ms. Childs spent eight years on the Stephens County Board of Education until her retirement from the field in 2015.
Today, Ms. Childs has turned her focus to giving back to her community through involvement with Neighbors 4 Neighbors, a nonprofit organization that serves the South Florida region through a wide range of community-based programming. She is an active volunteer with the local soup kitchen and the local food bank, and is involved with a program that does grocery bagging and provides 30 free bags of groceries a week to the Open Arms Clinic where they are handed out to individuals in need. In addition, she has leveraged her decades of experience in the field of education to help develop a program that promotes adult literacy. Looking toward the future, Ms. Childs intends to continue to give back to her community while serving as the hygiene coordinator for the Neighbors 4 Neighbors food bank.
Ms. Childs notes that helping others has always been incredibly important to her, no matter what she was working on, and she strives to treat everyone with the care they deserve as well as how she herself would like to be treated. To further her ability to help others, she has become certified as a Stephen minister through Stephen Ministries and has served her community in this capacity for the past 10 years. A lay position, being a Stephen minister allows her to provide support and one-on-one care to community and church members who are struggling with a variety of personal issues, ranging from divorce or a death in the family to financial struggles or illness.
For her excellence, Ms. Childs has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. In 2020, she was honored with the Marquis Who’s Who Humanitarian Award and named a Marquis Who’s Who Top Professional. She has also been featured in Who’s Who in America and in the Marquis Who’s Who Millennium Magazine. Living her life by the motto, “If you relive the past, it is unfortunate you will not be able to live for today and for the future,” Ms. Childs hopes to leave a legacy as a vivacious person who was a good listener and cared about what people had to say.