New Board member Hoffman

Benny Westcott

Sara Hoffman looks forward to serving the Zone 1 area on the Sweet Home School District school board.

But she didn’t necessarily expect to be selected.

It was her friend, Jenna Northern, who posted on Facebook that Hoffman would be good for the Holley District. The post was subsequently shared and gained social-media traction, helping Hoffman ultimately become elected as a write-in candidate.

“It wasn’t really something I opted into, necessarily, but I’m excited to do it,” Hoffman said of her new role. She’ll be serving a two-year term that began when she attended her first board meeting on Monday, July 19.

The 33-year-old native went through the local school district herself. After graduating from Sweet Home High School, she went to Phagans’ Central Oregon Beauty College in Bend, then Linn-Benton Community College. After finishing her studies, she worked as a hairstylist for eight years.

Then she shifted gears.

“I kind-of outgrew doing hair for a living, and I wanted to either work for the State of Oregon or some sort of private sector that had good benefits,” she said.

So eight years ago, she began working for the state’s Department of Justice, where she’s a grant specialist in the Crime Victims Compensation Program for the organization’s Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division.

Hoffman expressed admiration for the current board.

“I don’t necessarily want to see changes,” she said. “I really love the idea of coming into an already successful school board and fostering the atmosphere that already exists.”

But she did voice opinions on how the district should deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to have a say in how we move forward in regard to COVID-19 and social distancing and masks,” she said. “I don’t necessarily believe that children should be masked, and I don’t necessarily believe that we should care if they are socially distanced, because the rate of transmission is really low in kids.”

Hoffman and her husband, Anthony, an electrician and millwright at Lebanon’s Entek International LLC, have three kids, Tatum, 10, Landon, 8, and Tenley, 5, all of whom will be attending Holley Ele-mentary School in the fall.

In her free time, she helps coach her children in various sports and watches their games. They play a sport each season.

“There’s not much time for anything else in this phase of life,” she said, with a laugh.

Her family enjoys living in Sweet Home.

“We just really want to invest in our community and make sure our kids have a safe and great place to go to school,” she said.