MPW.65 / Trenton The Renaissance of Sara Kurtz by Gwen McClure
Photographer
Gwen McClure New York, New York
Team Chapnick

Story Summary

Every day at 4:00 am, Sara Kurtz, 41, reaches for the snooze button on her alarm. Although her morning commute to Trenton, Missouri is usually quick, she has to allow time for the fog that sometimes settles on the gravel roads leading from her ranch to the highway. She likes to arrive a few minutes before her 5:30 am shift begins in the kitchen at Trenton High School. She doesn’t want to feel guilty for departing a few minutes before everyone else—a necessity if she’s going to make it to her second job (as a chiropractor’s receptionist) in Gallatin on time.

Sara lives a few miles from Jamesport, Missouri where she grew up, and her life now is in sharp contrast to the one she led for the first half of her life. She was a wife and mother in the Amish community when her then-husband decided they would leave. This was 20 years ago. Kurtz, since divorced from him, works 12 hours a day to keep herself busy. Her older son Michael goes to the University of Missouri in Columbia and she cheers on her younger son, Christopher, through his last year of high school in Trenton.