For the public – Sandy McDivitt |

For the public – Sandy McDivitt

Where I work: Forest Charter School

My job title: Director

What I do in my job: I’m the director of a personalized learning public charter school serving almost 500 students in Nevada and Placer counties.

Why my job is important to the public: Forest Charter School offers a choice in education to students K-12 who would benefit from a personalized learning program designed to nurture the gifts and talents of each student while fulfilling academic requirements.

The special skills and talents I bring to my job: I have the ability to see how things can work and to see positive attributes in people. I believe strongly in collaborating and knowing there are many right answers. I’m organized and see how the small parts fit harmoniously into the whole. I value people and their positive contributions. I strive for excellence and am constantly seeking refinement.

The best part of my job: The people with whom I work, their heart, idealism, commitment, and ability to laugh … a lot.

A day at work I’ll always remember was: There are many! Most recently, opening a letter from CDE congratulating our school on receiving Honorable Mention as a 2005 California Distinguished High School.

How I got my job: Dave Taylor, now the retired superintendent of Twin Ridges, called me and asked if I would bring this model of education to our community through Twin Ridges’ innovative charter model.

How long I’ve been working here: Four years.

My dream job would be: Consulting around the world on inspiring creative expression through collaborative leadership.

My family: My 21-year-old son, Keith, graduating magna cum laude from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in May. My 22-year-old step-daughter, Hatha, graduating from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, this July with honors in philosophy.

My hobbies: Skiing, both cross country and downhill. Hiking, biking, yoga, golfing, tennis; generally being outdoors and enjoying nature. I love music and play guitar and play clarinet in a small orchestra. I sing in Victorian singers.

When I was a kid: I lived in the Andes, Peru, and rode my pet burro to school.

My dream vacation: Swimming with dolphins in warm tropical water.

If a movie were made of my life, I would be played by: Lily Tomlin.

The people who have made the biggest difference in my life: My mother, now 83, who encouraged me to think out of the box and to explore and appreciate nature. My spiritual family, which has taught me to walk the path of gratitude.

My hero: My husband, Cliff, who passed away two years ago. He reflected amazing qualities of courage and deep caring and love for people. His Australian mannerisms, quick wit, and ability to weave a story kept me laughing. He was an inspiration to me.

The best book I’ve read lately: “Expecting Adam,” by Martha Beck – a real story about a young couple expecting a Down Syndrome baby and the unexpected insights and inspiration they receive along the way.

I like living in Nevada County because: It’s a beautiful, healthy, interesting environment.

To suggest a civil servant for this weekly feature, contact Britt Retherford at or 477-4247.

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