Election 2018: Q&A with Sarah Zimmer

Candidate for Revelstoke school board

Current job/career: Electrician and stay-at-home parent

Why do you live in Revelstoke?

I grew up in a small Kootenay town and always imagined raising my own family in a similar setting. While on our honeymoon, my husband and I visited Revelstoke for a single day and immediately fell in love with the town and community. So we put offer in on a house, drove back to the big city, quit our jobs, packed up and moved. I always tell people that when we finally settled into this amazing community, I felt like I exhaled for the first time in over a decade. Revelstoke was and continues to be the vibrant, welcoming town I had been dreaming of.

Why are you running to be a SD19 board trustee?

I am running for school trustee for several reasons; however, in order to stay within the word count limit I have been given, I will talk primarily about two. Firstly, it is a position directly linked to an environment of which I am very familiar. I grew up surrounded by educators. I listened and learned about the system, its strengths and its struggles. Therefore, even prior to this campaign process, I have thought about, talked about and researched numerous aspects of the educational process. Although, I did not become an educator myself, my interest in and commitment to the success of the public school system has remained very strong. Secondly, my children are four and six years old and soon both will be enrolled full time in school. Thus, I find myself able to dedicate more time to pursuing other personal goals. One of which has always been to contribute and participate more fully in the larger community. Becoming a school board trustee will allow me the chance to use both my educational and professional experience in a role that fulfills this goal.

Why do you think you are qualified for the job?

The role of a school board trustee is to find a balance in which both advocacy and stewardship play a constructive part. This means working to ensure that all of our students have the best possible resources while making fundamental decisions that fall within budgetary constraints. This is inherently a partnership between the theoretical and practical spheres. My academic and business experiences provide me with a foundation for understanding both of these contexts. I have worked within complex employment structures, on both time/cost and quality sensitive projects. I have the ability to employ critical thinking in order to assess and execute constructive decisions. On a personal level, my love of research, my desire to understand the root causes of situations and to seek out viable, equitable solutions to issues will ensure that I approach this trustee position with the notions of collaboration, transparency and positive growth foremost in my mind.

What issues would you want addressed if you were elected?

First, let me say this, I think our school district is wonderful. I will not pick apart decisions made by all those hardworking trustees who have come before me. It would be a disservice. Instead, I want to move forward by building on the good work they have already accomplished in cooperation with all stakeholders, while further striving to achieve the goals set out in the SD#19 Mission, Vision and Values Statement. This isn’t to say that I am not prepared for change or improvement, quite the opposite; I look forward to seeing the positive directions in which our school district will continue to evolve. We are raising global citizens. Issues surrounding the environment, student mental and social health, education about the Indigenous experience, and academic excellence are currently and should continue to be explored and addressed. I plan to look for ways in which we can blend together strategic planning and school district goals with our economic realities. I believe it is important for a trustee to welcome new ideas while keeping in mind the visions and goals that serve as the foundations for our district’s operation.

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