Answers to BCCPAC Nomination Questions

1.Please tell us about yourself (max.200words)

I have lived in Prince George since 1996, and grew up in West Vancouver. I have two daughters, Katherine and Caroline, currently in grade 10 and grade 12, and have been married since 1992 to my husband Brad.

I am employed as a financial planning consultant for Manulife, working remotely with advisors primarily in Western Canada. I hold my certified financial planner designation, as well as other industry designations.

In addition to PACs, DPACs, and BCCPAC, I have served on two library boards (Fort St. James and Prince George), the BC library trustees association, a professional association for financial advisors, and with a local community association.

I enjoy analysis, policy, good governance, and reading, I find value in working with others, and ensuring that respectful relationships are in place. I find that I’m good making complex analysis understandable.

You can find out more about me on my website, at www.sarahholland.com

2. Describe the involvement that you have with the K-12 education system. (max.175words)

I started attending PAC meetings when my eldest child started kindergarten. I served on the PAC of Austin Road Elementary in several different positions, and then after that school was closed, helped to start a PAC at the new Heather Park Elementary school, again in a variety of positions. Among other things, I started a website for each school PAC.

I currently attend Duchess Park Secondary PAC meetings, and have previously served as co-chair of that PAC.

I started attending DPAC meetings in 2009 when it was announced that my children’s school was going to be closing, and served in various positions, including chair for 4 years, and created a website (www.sd57dpac.ca). Last year, I reached our DPAC’s term limit of 8 years.

I have served on several BCCPAC committees in the past, such as resolutions, bylaws, and website, and had been active on the BCdpac email list.

In addition, I unsuccessfully ran for school trustee last year for our district.

3. Why do you wish to serve on the BCCPAC Board of Directors? (max. 75words)

I am passionate about the importance of the public education system in our democratic society, and the role that our school system plays in helping all our children acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to contribute to a healthy community.
I believe that parents are an important part of the education system. There’s a lot happening in education, and we need a strong and effective parent voice.

4. Please tell us how you adjust to changes when you have little or no control. (max. 75 words)

I think of the words of Reinhold Niebuhr, and ask for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference – that sums it up nicely.
I also find that Hanlon’s Razor is also a useful aphorism to keep in mind: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ignorance.

5. Describe a situation when you had to solve a problem but didn’t have all the necessary tools or information.(max. 75 words)

As I grow and mature, I find it liberating to have the self confidence to admit to ignorance in a matter and request assistance. In the past, I have worked hard to find out the information I required, or to build the tools that I needed. That said, it can be useful to lay out the situation, identify the unknowns, and review potential solutions to a problem that would work with the missing information.

6. Describe a time how you have helped build a team in an organisation (work or volunteer).(max. 75 words)

After my children’s elementary school was closed and a new school community was formed, we had the opportunity to rebuild a school community from three different closed schools, which obviously came with some growing pains. Parents, staff, and students stepped up; we worked together and built something special. Our PAC committed to communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and good decision making, and I was proud to take a part in that.

7. While rewarding, being a Board member can be time consuming. How do you see yourself balancing your professional or personal life with your duties as a board member? (max.50 words)

I will not be holding a leadership position in a PAC or a DPAC, which frees up a large amount of time for me. My family is supportive of my running for BCCPAC, and my current employer is great for work-life balance.

8. How do you think BCCPAC can best support parents? (max. 75 words)

BCCPAC needs to support parents by being a well managed and an effective organization, by working as an effective, respected, and respectful education partner in the provincial realm, and by providing support to parents and PACs in their day to day work. Those of us who’ve been around for a while tend to forget just how much we had to learn, and it’s important to be able to pass that along to other parents.

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