‘The Best Profession’: Washington Woods Elementary School principal enjoys interacting with students, staff in her role


Sarah Zack is a few months into her new role as the principal at Washington Woods Elementary School and comes to work each day with plenty of enthusiasm and excitement for more than 600 students.

Zack, who entered her 23rd year in the education field earlier this year – with 16 of those spent inside the classroom –  took over the position formerly held by Tom Hakim, who accepted a middle school principal position in Washington Township. Zack served as assistant principal at Washington Woods since July 2021 before being named as the top administrator of the building that has approximately 625 students and 80 staff members.

“I really learned a lot from (Hakim) and really fell in love with Westfield from the very beginning,” Zack said.

Zack, who lives in Zionsville with her husband and their two children, said she loved serving as assistant principal at Washington Woods and interacting with those around her. The elementary school serves children in kindergarten through fourth grade.

“I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the incredible community of Westfield, gain the trust of families, lead the school team, and have an impact on the great students and staff in our building,” she said.

Before arriving at Westfield Washington Schools, she served as principal at Eleanor Skillen School 34 with Indianapolis Public Schools. She has also been an assistant principal, an instructional coach at the college level and a special education teacher.

Going into education was something she always wanted to do as a career and aims to help each child reach their fullest potential, she said.

Paul Kaiser, superintendent of Westfield Washington Schools, said he has full faith and confidence in Zack.

“From the first time that I met Sarah, I knew that she was an exceptional educator with the potential to make a huge impact on the students of our district,” Kaiser said. “I’m excited for our Washington Woods families, and other families in our district, to build a stronger relationship with her.”

Zack said she is grateful to have been named principal at Washington Woods, where she wants to make a lasting impact on young students. She described education as “the best profession.”

“I’m just overwhelmed and humbled,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine a better profession.”

Zack also praised the staff at Washington Woods, describing them as individuals who put students first. She also encourages others to consider a career in education, acknowledging that the job isn’t always easy.

“Just know that your heart has to be in it,” Zack said.

Zack said she tries to make each day a fun experience and greets all of her students each day.

“I believe every child should grow and I think academics are very important, and growing as a leader is something that we really try to facilitate here. I believe that all children have genius within them,” she said.

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Washington Woods Elementary School Principal Sarah Zack fist-bumps second-grader Peyton Russell during lunch time.

Meet Sarah Zack

Residence: Lives in Zionsville

Family: Married to husband, Marc; two children, John and Emily

Education: Bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University, master’s degree in school leadership from Butler University

Hobbies: Basketball, hockey, hiking and running