Sara Moore was only 10 when she made her acting debut in a PSA for the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma and about a year later appeared in a commercial for the Department of Human Services. At 12 years old she got her breakout role—Pretty Girl in “Children of the Corn: Runaway.” Since then, Sara has been an extra on multiple feature films including “The Harvesters,” “Wildlife” and “I Can Only Imagine.” She also stays involved in student films and has participated in the 48-Hour Film Project with Star Swamp Productions.
Sara was born in California but now lives in Moore, Oklahoma, with her parents, sister and brother. Sara is a third year student with Oklahoma Connections Academy. With the help of Oklahoma Connections Academy, a tuition-free, virtual public school serving K-12 students across the state, she can travel any time of the school year since all she needs is her computer and an internet connection. For the past seven years, Sara has been a member of FIRST robotics (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in Moore. This year she began mentoring younger kids interested in STEM.
As an advocate for Chiari Malformation, Sara feels it is also important to share her experience of having Brain Decompression Surgery in 2013.
“My condition makes me stronger and more driven to be the best I can be,” said Moore. There is no cure for her condition, but she chooses to not let it stop her.
The local, SAG eligible actress and advocate, answered a handful of questions about her personal life, schooling and career.
Who is your inspiration? One of my biggest inspirations is Emma Watson. She started acting at a young age and even though she is pretty famous now she is still very generous. I also love that she found balance between going to college and her acting career.
How do you make school work with your career? The great thing about Oklahoma Connections Academy is I really only need an internet connection or hotspot for me to work between takes. Also, if I know there is no internet, I can download whatever stuff I need to work on and just turn it in when I get home. This way school does not get a back burner and I can easily keep up with my work load.
What do you like most about Oklahoma Connections Academy? What I like most is how flexible it is with my acting. With Oklahoma Connections Academy I can travel any time of the school year. I also feel that I am learning more and being challenged more as there are less distractions. In high school we still have student council, high school events, prom and a normal graduation.
Describe your relationship with your teachers. On a normal week I spend about five and a half hours with teachers during live lessons. I have great relationships with my teachers. For example, my Oklahoma history teacher encourages us to interact in our lectures. He enjoys hearing what we think on a topic. When we have our discussions, he acknowledges the competitiveness between classmates. If I’m struggling, I can always go into our teacher’s office and speak with them when needed. They are all about being there to help and making sure you succeed.
What is your favorite subject and why? 100 percent science. I love how interactive science is and how we use it in everyday life. All kids are scientists whether they know it or not. I love stuff from science projects, checking out stuff under the microscope, and looking through a telescope to see other planets in our solar system or watch a comet go by. Science is part of everything and I love that aspect.
What are some of your favorite places and things to do in Oklahoma? Some of my favorite places in Oklahoma are the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Turner Falls, Cedar Lake close to Hinton, Bricktown and you can’t forget the Science Museum! I like being just like any other teenager. Hang out with my friends, do some shopping, going to the lake house in the summer and just being normal.
What do you see for yourself in the future? I see so much in my future, I do not want to be limited as the options are endless. I see myself continuing my acting career and branching out to Broadway, but I also see finishing college as I want to be a Mechatronics Engineer. I may not know exactly what the future holds for me, but I know that right now I am doing what it is I love and makes me happy. Everyone should find that one thing that makes them happy and just go for it. Life is too short not to.
What advice do you have for aspiring actors and directors? Do not quit. In this industry you will hear way more no than yes. Do not let a no stop you. Use not only your strengths but also your weaknesses, it is what makes you the best person you can be.
Sara’s parents chose Oklahoma Connections Academy because it was the best fit for their family and Sara’s acting career. Other students who need a non-traditional schedule also find it beneficial. For example, Yujeong Son, professional youth golfer from Norman transitioned to Oklahoma Connections Academy at the beginning of her sophomore year of high school so that she’d have more flexibility with her golf schedule. Each day, Yujeong goes to a local golf course to practice golf in the morning and after lunch. Virtual education allows Yujeong to work on her assignments and lessons in the evenings.
Naomi Jones, a secondary English teacher, chose to teach at Oklahoma Connections Academy because it fills a need in education.
“Some students succeed in brick and mortar classrooms, but others need more flexibility and personalization,” said Jones.
“As a longtime administrator, it was always clear to me that while traditional public schools were a great fit for most students, there were always those who needed something different,” said Tammy Shepherd, principal at Oklahoma Connections Academy. “When I became aware of virtual learning as an option, it was a good opportunity for me to explore it as an option for those students. Our flexibility makes it a good option for students who need a non-traditional schedule.”
So what type of students can benefit from Oklahoma Connections Academy? Students who need a non-traditional schedule for a variety of reasons—maybe they want to explore career options while in high school or they need flexibility to pursue their dreams. Oklahoma Connections Academy gets a lot of athletes, musicians, rodeo competitors, etc. who need flexibility to practice their craft.
“Our school is also a good fit for students with chronic health issues who need to be able to do school in a different environment or on a different schedule,” said Shepherd. “And, unfortunately, some of our students come to us because of stressful social situations in their traditional school including bullying.”
Sara Moore says she would recommend Oklahoma Connections Academy to anyone who was looking for something beyond the traditional brick and mortar.
“The curriculum is always being updated, the teachers really care and do everything in their power to help you succeed,” she said. “We all work together to make this the best school it can be!”
Is Oklahoma Connections Academy right for your family? Visit them online at http://www.oklahomaconnectionsacademy.com/ to find out!
About the author: Jessica Misun is a thirty-something WFHM (work from home mom), wife, entrepreneur, local lover and coffee addict. She has a degree in Journalism-Public Relations from the University of Central Oklahoma and earned an MBA from Southern Nazarene University (for real!). When not managing work projects or selling homes, she is managing Pinterest fails for her kid’s school projects. She and her husband share their home in Edmond, Oklahoma with their two amazing children and their sometimes amazing otter-hound.