Kearny’s Sarah Davie ready to change the world

Kearny’s Sarah Davie has a goal — to change the world’s thinking about how we treat the environment. At the rate she’s going, it seems like she might change the world’s thinking twiceover.

That’s because the special-needs teacher at New Jersey Regional Day School in Newark (the school’s part of the Newark Public School system) is taking a full-year sabbatical this coming academic year — though she will probably be working more than she would have if she remained stateside.

She’s leaving for China this week (Wednesday, June 28) and will be making stops in Asia, Africa and Europe through March. She’ll be teaching lessons — mostly about environmental issues, but also about geography, social justice and other academic skills to her fourth- and fifth-grade students back in Newark via video.

Sometimes, she’ll do it live (that won’t be easy given time-zone differences.) Other times, it’ll be recorded.

It will all be part of her students’ curriculum (though they’ll still get their regular lessons from a supply teacher while Davie is away.)

Now get this: While she’s gone, Davie will not be paid, and she’ll be funding her global journey on her own. However, you can help fund Davie’s time away if you’re so inclined — she’s set up a crowdsourcing site at — and has, as of press time, raised 7% of her overall goal of $5,500.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be paid for this,” Davie said. “But it was something I knew I had to do. I love to travel. I love the environment. I love my students.”

At her first stop, China, she’ll tackle a major environmental issue the Chinese people face.

“Air smog,” Davie said. “It’s a big in China.”

Then, she’ll move on to New Zealand, Australia, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Switzerland and she’ll end up in India.

It’s in India where she says she hopes to have the most fun while away.

“My favorite holiday is called ‘Holi,’” she said. “It’s a festival of colors. Everyone wears white saris, and the people throw colors to form a rainbow of colors. I love the holiday and can’t wait to show it to the kids.”

Davie plans to spend between 2 to 4 weeks in each country. She’ll stay in hostels, on reservations, reservations and wildlife reserves, depending on where she is.

She says she’ll really miss her parents — Ken and Edna Davie, of Kearny — the most while she’s gone, but they’ll get to see her at least once. They’ll be visiting Sarah for her 30th birthday while she’s in New Zealand.

“My parents have been very supportive of this,” Davie said.

But she says her dad will still worry about her well-being a lot while she’s away.

“Dad always worries the most,” she said. “But he knows I will be very smart about my travels.”

“We’re so proud of what she’s doing,” dad Ken Davie said. “Will I worry? Of course. It’s what fathers do when they have daughters. But I’m sure she’ll be just fine. She’s such a great daughter.”

You can read and watch videos about Davie’s plans and so much more at While she’s abroad, this is where her lessons will be embedded — so you can follow along while she’s away.

“This is a chance of a lifetime,” Davie said. “I’m ready to get going.”

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.