To the Editor:
My name is Sarah Tracy and I am running for a seat on the Hopewell Valley Regional School District’s Board of Education. I am seeking the support from the community in my efforts to achieve this so that I can help in continuing to grow and provide our students and schools everything they deserve as well as provide a fresh prospective within the board. This letter is to inform the community more about who I am and how my experience can best serve the people in the community.
Coming from a humble background where having a college degree did not exist, teachers played a very important part in my life. Because of their encouragement, hard work and a great education, I was the first to obtain a college degree in my family and will be forever grateful to them. While attending Rider College as an accounting major, I remember thinking about how much I enjoyed this area and that one day I hoped to be so fortunate to raise my family here. Fast forward several years, I could see firsthand how great the school system was through my wife’s employment at the high school. Because of her dedication and support of the district, I would attend sporting events, plays and other fund raisers where I met such wonderful educators and community members. As a result, four years ago we made the decision to move to Hopewell and raise our three children. Our transition to the community has been such a positive one.
I feel fortunate to live in a community were residents are proactive and engaged in the district and want to constantly work to make this a better place for our children. As a Board member I will work diligently to build bigger bridges with all stakeholders in the educational process. Bringing together community, educators, administrators and the board to tackle things together is how we will achieve our greatest success. I have spent over 30 years’ as an executive in the Financial Services Industry, most recently as a Chief Administrative Officer, working with all aspects of financial institutions. I have led several initiatives over my career where I was able to bring cross functional teams together to achieve great things. One initiative I led brought together sales, marketing, technology and operations to create a web based tool to be leveraged by our customers, sales personnel and operations teams. Collaborating with various constituents produced an innovative product that was a game changer for our company. This also led our company in being a recipient of the CIO magazine technology award for innovation in its category.
Our family like many others in the community are concerned and are sensitive to tax increases. Fiscal balance is very important in the business world and even more critical in education because of the rippling affects to homeowners. I have extensive experience creating budgetary cost savings. One example is saving $300,000 in recruiting costs by consolidating relationships and renegotiating contracts to get more competitive rates. There is recognition that school budgets have added complications, however getting a fresh prospective and creative thinking can have positive affects in the process.
Tolerance and acceptance is a part of our everyday lives. These actions are becoming more and more prevalent in the world we live. It’s important that our students must have the tools and resources in preparing for a better future. Children today face more obstacles than ever before. My emphasis is to engage with others in the community to help me further provide insight into the sensitivities we should be considering. We have an obligation as a community to help shape a more tolerant future.
In conclusion, as a parent and a member of the Board of Education I will vigorously encourage and promote policies and programs that strive for and continue to support high academic achievement in a balance with positive social, cultural and individual development. I will work with and across groups to achieve fiscal balance, diversity awareness and build bridges with all stakeholders. I am confident that I can be an effective part of this process and would be honored to be a part of it.