Occupation: Special education teacher for 34 years. Sandra teaches at Maryville High School.
Married: Married for 34 years to Roger Elder.
Children: John Elder, 29, a lawyer in Knoxville, and Sarah Elder, who is in marketing at Blackberry Farm.
What was your first paying job?
“Dipping ice cream at Kay’s Ice Cream. I was tickled the building stayed. I think it’s great.”
If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you take?
“My husband of 34 years. He would get us out of wherever. He can fix things.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“Build a new house.”
What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
“I don’t have one, but my Dad, Willard Abbott, says ‘When misery overrides pleasure, it is time to get out of doing whatever you are doing.’”
What are you guilty of?
“Procrastinating or trying to do too many things at one time.”
What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“Go on a cruise.”
Do you think there is life on other planets?
What is your favorite material possession?
“Diamond horseshoe necklace my husband gave me for our first anniversary.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“Mother Teresa. I just think she showed kindness that the rest of us could learn from. She was so unassuming.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“Wearing two different shoes out to dinner -- one of my first anniversary. We went to dinner in Nashville at the Pioneer Steakhouse.”
Why did you pursue the career you chose?
“Because I enjoy helping others learn.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Uptight. I need to learn to relax.”
When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“To be more organized.”
What is your passion?
“Teaching. I have taught school for 34 years, and I also teach horseback riding in the afternoons and summer months.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My grandmothers. I would be more attentive to the wisdom of their years.”
What do you hate?
“I hate the fact that some children do not have the support that they deserve as they grow up.”
What’s your favorite quote?
“ ‘I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.’ It is an ancient Chinese proverb.”
What is your dream vacation?
“A tropical island.”
Rebels, Tornadoes, Mountaineers or Governors?
What is your all-time favorite movie?
“ ‘Second Hand Lions.’ I just like the comedy in it, and the love and the compassion of the uncles for the boy who needed someone in his life.”
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
Would you travel in space?
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“The Old West.”
What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“Scarlett O’Hara from ‘Gone with the Wind’ because she dealt with the difficulties handed to her.”
What is your favorite sport and favorite sport’s team?
“Basketball and the Lady Vols. I played basketball in high school at Alcoa.”
What is the best present you ever received?
“My grandson, Ty.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Pretty is as pretty does.”
Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
“Yes. In the fifth grade my teacher paddled the palm of my hand with a ruler for talking during a movie.”