Published Jan. 21, 2021
By ALICIA KRUEGER
After serving on the Carmel Unified School District board for two years, Sara Hinds was elected to serve as the 2021 board president in a unanimous vote on Jan. 16, making Hinds the board’s visual and vocal spokesperson.
“At the end of the day, I believe my role as a board member is to advocate for students and empower those who serve them,” Hinds says. “I am honored and humbled to be in this role and serving a community that I love so much.”
Hinds centers her goals around her understanding that each child has different needs and requires different support systems to enable their success. As a result, she says her decisions as a board member attempt to ensure all students have what they need to make effective decisions as they move out into the world.
“I have faith in the expertise of our administrators, staff, district office and superintendent to continue to rise to the occasion and make decisions that are best for our school community,” notes fellow CUSD board member Tess Arthur. “With Sara as board president she will strive for excellence and conduct effective and efficient board meetings, and will be an outstanding spokesperson for the board.”
To do so, Hinds looks to focus her energies on encouraging student involvement with external organizations, such as MEarth, partnered with CUSD. Additionally, Hinds recognizes the importance of funding and promoting student social-emotional wellness and professional development for teachers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe that when teachers are excited about what’s going on outside of the classroom, they will bring that excitement back into the classroom,” explains Hinds. “I have complete confidence in our administrators and know that student wellness is high on their lists, as is ensuring a smooth transition from being at home to going back into the classroom.”
Hinds ran for the school board because she wanted to give back to the community she grew up in. As a Carmel native, she attended Carmel schools and eventually went on to graduate from California State University, Chico, with a degree in media and communications. She proceeded to work in high-tech marketing in the Silicon Valley before returning to her roots to raise her eighth-grade twin sons and 3-year-old daughter.
Her experience within the private sector taught Hinds the importance of building bridges and developing collaborative relationships through listening and making an effort to truly understand her constituents. She says she transferred these skills into her previous volunteer efforts as PTA president, as vice president at Carmel River School, as a member of the River School site council and as a part of the CUSD Community Advisory Council under previous superintendent Barb Dill-Varga.
“I believe in my heart that CUSD is headed in the right direction,” Hinds says. “I am honored to be a part of the team that is keeping us on that trajectory despite the many challenges we have encountered from COVID-19.”